Godiva Sold for $850M

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New York City Campbell Soup Co. said on Thursday it agreed to sell its Godiva Chocolatier business for $850 million to Yildiz Holding A.S.

Yildiz is the owner of the Ulker Group, a diversified food company based in Istanbul, Turkey. Campbell said the sale price represents a multiple of nearly 15 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and appreciation (EBITDA)—a measure of cash flow.

Campbell had said in August that it would explore a possible sale of the luxury chocolate brand, since it did not fit into its core portfolio of soups, baked snacks and vegetable-based beverages, with brands such as Pepperidge Farms cookies and V8 vegetable juice.

Godiva has annual sales of about $500 million, out of Campbell's total of more than $7.8 billion.

Ulker, the largest consumer-goods company in Turkey's food industry, sells biscuits, chocolate and beverages, and had sales of $7.4 billion in 2006, according to a statement issued by Campbell. The company also has operations in the packaging, real estate and telecommunication sectors.

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