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New York Times: Campbell's soup is reportedly in big financial trouble

Manuela Cardiga
Dec 01, 2018
05:05 A.M.

Devotees of Campbell's canned soups might be wise to buy a few cartons of their favorite flavor before the company discontinues the product.

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For the last 200 years, Campbell's has become synonymous with soup. Whatever the favorite, from chicken noodle to the best selling tomato soup, Campbells is as American as apple pie and almost as popular.

On November 16, 2018, the New York Times revealed that Campbell's in deeply in the red with a corporate debt of $9 billion.

HEALTH FOOD CRAZE REDUCED CANNED SOUP SALES

The drastic fall of canned soup sales prompted the company to diversify and buy up other companies in a bid to remain profitable.

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The mounting debt has shareholders battling for control of the company, and to implement some much-needed changes to the famous Campbell soups - from recipes to the traditional red and white label.

PRESERVING THE COMPANY WILL MEAN RADICAL CHANGES

Putting the squeeze on the Dorrance family who owns 40% of Campbell's, is Daniel Loeb. Loeb is a worth $3.1 billion, and he runs Third Point, a hedge fund that holds 7% of Campbell's stock. Loeb advocates radical changes across the board to make Campbell's profitable and viable.

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The mounting debt has shareholders battling for control of the company, and to implement some much-needed changes to the famous Campbell soups - from recipes to the traditional red and white label.

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THE DORRANCE FAMILY LOSES CONTROL OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Faced with Loeb's determination to evolve the company and the product, the Dorrance family has agreed to two of the directors nominated by Third Point, and to allow the hedge fund a say in the nomination of the next CEO.

If the new board of directors decides that Campbell's Soup is no longer viable, Americans can bid a sad farewell to one more fond childhood memory.

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MAKING CAMPBELL'S SOUP INTO ART

It may come to pass that future generations will have to take a stroll through MoMA to catch a glimpse of the iconic Campbell's Soup can.

Luckily, controversial pop artist Andy Warhol used images from consumer culture in his art, and one of these immortalized objects was a can of Campbell's Soup.

“I used to drink it. I used to have the same lunch every day, for 20 years, I guess, the same thing over and over again.”

Andy Warhol

Campbell's Soups may be struggling to stay afloat, but Warhol's depictions of the iconic cans are a hot selling item.

Source: Getty Images/ Andy Warhol

Source: Getty Images/ Andy Warhol

In 2016, Warhol’s "Small Torn Campbell Soup Can" was sold at auction for a staggering $11,776,000 - a record for a painting from the Campbell Soup Can series.

$11,776,000 for a can of soup. What would Daniel Loeb say to that?

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