Campbell Soup Co. says it will close its southern Ontario food plant next year as it sheds several businesses to “enhance long-term profitability.”
The 48-year-old facility at Listowel, about 65 km west of Guelph, employs about 500 people making mostly frozen products such as soup, entrees, ramen noodles and Pepperidge Farm-brand products.
New Jersey-based Campbell said in a release Monday that it will operate the Listowel plant for about another 12 months and then “transition” its production to its contract manufacturers elsewhere in North America and to its plant at Downingtown, outside Philadelphia.
Other plans in Monday’s announcement include closure of a facility at Miranda, a suburb of Sydney, Australia where Campbell made private-label biscuits and industrial chocolate.
The company also plans to sell its snack food business in Australia to The Real McCoy, an Australian-owned snack foods firm. That deal, expected to close later this year, involves two Campbell plants making products such as Cheezels, Thins, Tasty Jacks, French Fries, and Kettle Chips.
Campbell also said it plans to “streamline its international management structure.” In all, the company said it expects to take pre-tax charges and costs of about US$230 million relating to these moves in 2008 and expects to see positive impact on its earnings and cash flow next year.