Daily Management Review

Tim Tam Biscuits To Be Acquired By KKR In A Deal Worth $2.2


Tim Tam Biscuits To Be Acquired By KKR In A Deal Worth $2.2
Arnott’s, the Australian snacks business of Campbell Soup Co will be bought out by KKR & Co., the later said, in a deal that would be worth $2.2 billion according to reports in Australia. Arnott’s is the owner of some of the best selling biscuits brands such as Tim Tam.
“I can confirm that KKR’s offer for Arnott’s was accepted by Campbell’s late last night,” an Australia-based spokeswoman for the New York-headquartered buyout firm reportedly told the media through an e-mail. However neither the price of the deal nor any further details were provided in the e-mail.
According to a report published in the Australian Financial Review, the value of the deal was pegged at $2.2 billion which was lower than the more than $3 billion that Campbell Soup Co had demanded at the beginning of negotiations.
A spokeswoman for Campbell Soup refused comments to the media on the news report about the price of the deal and claimed that the deal was not yet over. “The process to divest Arnott’s and the rest of our international operations is ongoing,” the spokeswoman for the US food company said in a statement.
This deal is the second such deal for a large Australian food and drink brand being bought over by an offshore owner in a period of a week. Earlier, its Australian business was agreed to be divested by Belgian beer maker Anheuser-Busch InBev to Japan’s Asahi for $11 billion. The Australian business of AB InBev is the owner of some of famous brands such as VB and Carlton Draught.
The local interest in the maker of some of Australia’s best-known salty snacks, including CC’s, Kettle chips and Thins was bought for $460 millio nby Philippines-based Universal Robina Corp in 2016.
Matthew Reeves, an analyst at IBISWorld, said that companies like Arnott’s and the AB InBev unit “have a long history in Australia, and therefore have a degree of customer loyalty that can be harnessed to create value for these companies and expand their market share.” He added: “being located in the Asia-Pacific, close to many developing economies, Australia is a springboard to expand into these countries.”
With the deal KKR will have access to a host of assets that have become synonymous for more than one and half century with snacking in the 12th-largest economy of the world, even though  Arnott’s being owned by foreign companies is nothing new for Australians. Iced Vovos, SAO, Wagon Wheel, Monte Carlo and Mint Slice biscuits are also manufactured by Arnott’s
According to media reports in Australia, there were other suitors for Arnott’s which includes names like PEP and Mondelez.
Major investors of Campbell pressurized the company to put up for sale its international unit and “fresh” units for sale and it was done by the company last August. This month, it sold its Danish unit Kelsen Group to an affiliate of Nutella maker Ferrero SpA for $300 million.