Refocusing, Campbell Sells Godiva for $850 million

CAMDEN, N.J. The Campbell Soup Co. agreed on Thursday to sell its Godiva Chocolatier unit to Yildiz Holding of Turkey, the largest consumer goods company in the Turkish food industry, for $850 million. Godiva will become part of the Ulker Group, which is owned by Yildiz.

The sale would help Campbell, which reported a 7.2 percent drop in fiscal first-quarter net income in November as a result of higher expenses, in part at Godiva. In addition, the company decided that the Belgian chocolate maker with $500 million in annual sales may not fit its increasing focus on marketing its products as part of a healthy lifestyle.

“The sale price reflects the strength of the Godiva business,” said Douglas Conant, Campbell’s chief executive. “Godiva is one of the world’s leading premium chocolate businesses and is an excellent strategic fit within Ulker’s portfolio.”