Campbell Soup plans to sell international business and Fresh unit

Campbell Soup announced Thursday plans to sell its international operations and refrigerated-foods business, abandoning efforts to become a more fresh-oriented company.

The move also leaves the door open to a full sale.

The two businesses bring in $2.1 billion in annual revenue under brands including Bolthouse Farms, Arnott's and Kelsen.

The remaining company will focus on the US, with revenue split nearly evenly between Campbell soups, meals and drinks, and its more promising snack business.

Divesting itself of those businesses would cut Campbell's revenue by roughly 25 percent, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

“Campbell’s Board of Directors considered a full slate of strategic options,including optimizing the portfolio, divesting businesses, splitting the company, and pursuing a sale," said Campbell’s interim President and CEO Keith McLoughlin. "The Board concluded that, at this time, the best path forward to drive shareholder value is to focus the company on two core businesses in the North American market with a proven consumer packaged goods business model."

Activist investor Daniel Loeb of Third Point LLC and George Strawbridge Jr., a descendant of the inventor of Campbell's condensed soup, are together urging a full sale.

They revealed a combined 8.4 percent stake in the company earlier this month and could still launch a proxy fight for board seats within the next few weeks.

Campbell's reported an adjusted earings per share of 25 cents, beating analysts' expectations of 24 cents a share, though sales missed estimates.