Campbell Soup Co. today announced a major restructuring plan that will eliminate 3,000 jobs worldwide and includes the sale of U.S. and Canadian fresh foods and fresh produce businesses with combined net sales of more than $300 million.
The moves will result in after-tax charges of $247 million against fiscal 1990 net earnings, the company said.
Campbell plans to sell its Sumter, S.C., frozen poultry operation, which employs about 1,200 people.
It also plans to close plants in Fremont, Neb., with 240 employees; a Pepperidge Farm Inc. plant in Grand Prairie, Texas, with 50 employees; and an equipment manufacturing center in Moorestown, N.J., which employs 51 people.
In moves earlier this year, Campbell eliminated about 8,000 jobs.
Campbell has faced increasing problems over the past year and has been frequently rumored as a takeover target because of its sluggish performance and depressed stock price. Some members of the founding family have urged a sale of the entire company.
The firm has sought to remain independent by divesting underperforming businesses and closing plants, cutting costs and laying off hundreds of workers.
"Our strategy for strongly focused growth is exemplified by our decision to concentrate our efforts on our high-margin dry grocery and frozen foods business," said Herbert M. Baum, president of Campbell North America.
Campbell said it will sell the Fresh Food Group, which includes Blandon, Pa., Dudley, Ga., Fennville, Mich., Hillsboro, Texas; Howe, Ind., Jackson, Ohio; Pescadero, Calif., and West Chicago, Ill.
The company also announced it plans to sell Mrs. Giles refrigerated salads, based in Lynchburg, Va., and Marie's salad dressings, which has a plant in Thornton, Ill.
Also to be sold are Domsea Farms Inc., a processor of salmon based in Pocatello, Idaho; the Win Schuler's cheese business in Marshall, Mich; and the McKellar Watt chilled food operation in Govan, Scotland.