JV Designed to Accelerate Growth of Commercial Soup Market in China
CAMDEN, N.J., Jan 12, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to form a joint venture with Swire Pacific Ltd. to support the development of the company’s soup business in China. Called Campbell Swire, the new company will begin operations in early 2011. Campbell will have a 60-percent ownership stake in the joint venture, giving it a controlling interest. Profit and losses will be shared in proportions consistent with each party’s ownership.
China is now the world’s second largest economy and has one of the highest rates of per capita soup consumption in the world. Approximately 355 billion servings of soup are consumed in China annually–nearly all of them homemade.
Douglas R. Conant, Campbell’s President and CEO, said, “We continue to believe that developing a commercial soup market in China represents a tremendous business opportunity for our company. Realizing the benefit of such an opportunity requires a long-term commitment and the right strategic partner. Swire has been an effective distribution partner for Campbell since we launched our business in China in 2007, and we look forward to the next phase of our relationship together.”
The joint venture will be based in Campbell’s current offices in Shanghai and will be responsible for manufacturing, packaging, branding, marketing, selling and distributing soup, broth and stock products in China. Campbell will retain ownership of Campbell brands and recipes and license those to the joint venture.
Christopher Pratt, Chairman, Swire Pacific Ltd, said, “The consumption of soup is an integral part of Chinese dining culture and its commercialization has exciting potential which we believe this new partnership can realize. Campbell as a global leader in the marketing and manufacturing of soup, together with Swire Pacific’s long experience of sales and distribution in China, will bring the right attributes to develop this market opportunity.”
Campbell Swire will be led by Peter Foyston, 47, who joined Campbell in 2009 and is currently General Manager Campbell Soup Greater China.
Mark Alexander, President – Campbell International, said, “We’ve made great strides in understanding the market and refining our products to appeal to Chinese consumers. This partnership will help unlock the potential of the commercial soup market in China by pairing Campbell’s brands, recipes and consumer insights with Swire’s sales force, logistics capabilities and overall market knowledge.”
Campbell launched its business in China in Oct. 2007 in Guangdong province and expanded to Shanghai in Nov. 2008.
About Campbell Soup Company
Campbell Soup Company is a global manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals, including soup and sauces, baked snacks and healthy beverages. Founded in 1869, the company has a portfolio of market-leading brands, including “Campbell’s,” “Pepperidge Farm,” “Arnott’s” and “V8.” Through its corporate social responsibility program, the company strives to make a positive impact in the workplace, in the marketplace and in the communities in which it operates. Campbell is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. For more information, visit www.campbellsoup.com.
About Swire Pacific Ltd.
Swire Pacific Limited is one of Hong Kong’s leading listed companies, with diversified interests in five operating divisions: Property, Aviation, Beverages, Marine Services and Trading & Industrial. The Company’s operations are predominantly based in the Greater China region, where the name Swire has been established for over 140 years. Swire Pacific focuses on long-term sustainable growth underpinned by a strong financial base. Its attributable profit in 2009 was HK$19,917 million and employs over 75,000 staff worldwide. For more information, visit www.swirepacific.com
This release contains “forward-looking statements” that reflect the company’s current expectations about the impact of its future plans and performance on sales, earnings, and margins. These forward-looking statements rely on a number of assumptions and estimates that could be inaccurate and which are subject to risks and uncertainties. The factors that could cause the company’s actual results to vary materially from those anticipated or expressed in any forward-looking statement include (1) the impact of strong competitive responses to the company’s efforts to leverage its brand power in the market; (2) the risks associated with trade and consumer acceptance of the company’s initiatives; (3) the company’s ability to realize projected cost savings and benefits; (4) the company’s ability to manage changes to its business processes; (5) the increased significance of certain of the company’s key trade customers; (6) the impact of fluctuations in the supply or costs of energy and raw and packaging materials; (7) the impact of portfolio changes; (8) the uncertainties of litigation; (9) the impact of changes in currency exchange rates, tax rates, interest rates, debt and equity markets, inflation rates, economic conditions and other external factors; (10) the impact of unforeseen business disruptions in one or more of the company’s markets due to political instability, civil disobedience, armed hostilities, natural disasters or other calamities; and (11) other factors described in the company’s most recent Form 10-K and subsequent Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any obligation or intent to update the forward-looking statements in order to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.
SOURCE: Campbell Soup Company
Campbell Soup Company
Anthony Sanzio (Media)
Jennifer Driscoll (Analysts/Investors)