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Campbell Soup Co. is expected to announce Thursday it is putting its Godiva Chocolatier business up for sale in order to focus on its soup and baked-snacks businesses. Citing people close to the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports CampbellCPB 09 08 2007 Chart will explore strategic alternatives for the Godiva unit, which generates annual sales of $500M. The company was expected to attract a broad range of interest from potential buyers. No estimates were given for a possible price, but given Godiva's strong brand name, it could fetch $750M to $1B or more, according to the Journal. Godiva no longer fits Campbell's business focus, which is increasingly geared towards healthier items such as low-sodium soups and Pepperidge Farm whole-grain bread, the Journal said. Increased soup and V8 beverage sales boosted Campbell's third-quarter earnings, and the low-sodium soups have contributed to the turnaround of the U.S. soup business. Campbell has hired Centerview Partners to handle the sale, the report said.

Sources: Wall Street Journal
Commentary: 100 Stocks to Offset Rising Food PricesCampbell Soup's CEO: 'Satisfied Despite Decline in Soup Sales'
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Source: Campbell to Sell Godiva -- WSJ