Mondelez International (MDLZ) - Get Report , the maker of Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates, is in advanced talks to acquire international brands being sold by Campbell Soup (CPB) - Get Report for approximately $2.5 billion, according to a news report.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported on Friday that Mondelez was negotiating final terms of a purchase of Sydney-based Arnott's Biscuits, the Australian maker of Tim Tam cookies, and Danish butter-cookie producer Kelsen Group.
Citing "years of abysmal oversight" and the bumbling of its CEO succession planning, billionaire investor Daniel Loeb last August called for Campbell Soup to sell itself to another company, saying at the time that "the only justifiable outcome of the strategic review is for [Campbell] to be sold to a strategic buyer."
The company responded with a plan to sell its international and fresh food businesses after a three-month review, laying out plans to re-evaluate its portfolio of brands, including the two reportedly being considered by Mondelez. Loeb and Campbell Soup made peace last November after agreeing to give Loeb's Third Point LLC input on director elections.
Arnott's Biscuits started out in 1865 as a bakery north of Sydney, according to its website. It currently employs about 2,400 staff in Australia and several thousand people across the Asia Pacific. Kelsen Group owns Royal Dansk butter cookies, known for their round blue tins, and Denmark's Kjeldsens.
Shares of Mondelez were little changed at $49.52 in early trading on Friday. The stock has traded in a range of as high as $50.05 and as low as $37.42 over the past 12 months.