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Report: Kraft Heinz, Mondelez make it to 2nd round of Campbell auction

The Kraft Heinz Co. and Mondelez International Inc. have been short-listed for the second round of Campbell Soup Co.'s auction of its international business, Reuters reported Dec. 23, citing people familiar with the matter.

Campbell's international unit includes Australia-based Arnott's Biscuits Ltd and Danish snacks brand Kelsen Group, along with the company's business in Hong Kong and Japan.

The report said that the New Jersey-based company could fetch close to $3 billion for its international division based on the first-round bids.

Apart from the two U.S. food giants, Bain Capital LP, KKR & Co. and FinTrek Capital Hong Kong Co. Ltd. also reportedly made it to the second round of the auction. It was also recently reported that Carlyle Group LP and Pacific Equity Partners plan to make a joint takeover bid for the biscuit business.

Meanwhile, Nutella maker Ferrero SpA is reportedly negotiating with Campbell over whether it will continue in the bidding, which is expected to end in the first quarter of 2019.

The canned soup maker put its international division and refrigerated-foods business for sale amid pressure from activist investor Third Point LLC, who has been pushing the company to overhaul its board and reorganize its business to maximize shareholder value.