Campbell Soup

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, a manufacturer and marketer of simple meals, announced Tuesday that it completed the sale of its UK and Irish businesses to Premier Foods for about $870 million.

The deal includes the sale of the products manufactured under the Homepride, OXO, Batchelors, Erin and Fray Bentos brands, along with four manufacturing plants.

The Camden, N.J.-based company has authorized using about $620 million of the net proceeds of the sale to purchase company stock. These purchases are expected to be mostly completed in fiscal 2007. The buyback is in addition to a three-year, $600 million share repurchase plan announced in November 2005.

"The sale of these businesses will better enable Campbell to focus on building our businesses within the simple meals and baked snacks categories in markets with the greatest potential for growth," the company said.

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