(Reuters) – Nestle Chief Executive Mark Schneider has made great strides in positioning the world’s largest food company for the future with his aggressive deal-making since taking over in January 2017.
FILE PHOTO: Nestle CEO Mark Schneider gestures during the Fortune Global Forum in Paris, France November 19, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo
The 54-year-old German-American has set a vision on selling premium products in fast-growing categories such as pet food and coffee while disposing of businesses in slower-growth areas such as chocolate and processed meat.
Schneider promised to replace as much as 10% of Nestle’s existing portfolio by the end of 2020 and has conducted more than 50 transactions and reviews since he took the helm. (reut.rs/34b1H2z)
In October Schneider indicated he would not stop at the 10% target, describing the portfolio review as an “ongoing process”.
Below is a summary of the top deals under Schneider’s tenure:
* January – Nestle expands its medical nutrition portfolio with the acquisition of Zenpep from Allergan. Zenpep is a medication for people who have a pancreas that is unable to provide sufficient enzymes to properly digest fats, proteins and sugars.
* February – Nestle’s health science arm invests an additional $200 million in Aimmune Therapeutics after the drugmaker won U.S. approval for its peanut allergy therapy.
* May – Sells its skin health unit, maker of the Cetaphil and Proactiv skincare brands, to private equity firm EQT Partners for 10.2 billion Swiss francs ($10.1 billion). The business accounted for about 3% of group sales.
* December – Agrees a $4 billion sale to Froneri of its U.S. ice-cream business, which includes Haagen-Daazs. Froneri is Nestle’s ice-cream joint venture with private equity firm PAI Partners.
* December – Nestle agrees to sell a majority stake in its packaged meat business, Herta, to family-run Spanish company Casa Tarradellas to create a joint venture in which it would hold a 40% stake.
* January – Sells its U.S. confectionary business to Ferrero for $2.8 billion, handing over control of brands Butterfinger, Crunch and Baby Ruth to the Italian manufacturer. The deal marked Schneider’s first big sale, underlining the shift in focus toward healthier products. (reut.rs/2snYMX2)
* May – Strikes $7.2 billion licensing deal here with Starbucks for exclusive rights to sell the U.S. chain’s packaged coffees and teas around the world, tying a premium brand to Nestle’s global distribution muscle’s. The contract includes Starbucks-branded capsules for Nestle’s Nespresso and Dolce Gusto single-serve brewers.
* September – Sells its Gerber Life Insurance business here to Western and Southern Financial Group for $1.55 billion in cash. The insurer, which sold life cover for families and juveniles, had sales of $856 million in 2017, equating ot less than 1% of group sales that year.
* September – Nestle acquires majority interest in California-based coffee roaster Blue Bottle Coffee here its first step into the fast-growing, super-premium coffee shop segment.
* September – Agrees to buy California-based Sweet Earth here the plant-based foods manufacturer behind the Awesome burger, for an undisclosed sum.
* December – Signs a $2.3 billion deal here to buy privately held Atrium Innovations, a Canadian vitamin maker, from a group of investors led by Permira Funds. The cash deal gives Nestle exposure to the consumer healthcare category.
Compiled by Siddharth Cavale and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by David Goodman
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