Nestle in exclusive talks to sell frozen food business to Brakes

Kasmira Jefford
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NESTLE said yesterday that it is in exclusive talks to sell its frozen food business Davigel to food service operator Brakes Group as part of its drive to focus on its core operations.

The Swiss consumer giant, which owns household staples including Cheerio’s cereal and Kit Kat chocolate bars, has been offloading non-core businesses in a bid to boost sales and focus on its key products.

The group missed a long-term sales target last year and has signalled the objective could be difficult to reach this year as it struggles with a slowdown in its European markets.

Over the past few years, it has sold the PowerBar and Musashi brands to US group Post Holdings, as well as its US frozen pasta business to Brynwood Partners and the bulk of its Jennie Craig business.

Nestle announced in November last year that it was exploring a sale of Davigel, which makes meals and desserts for restaurants, schools and other institutional customers. The business generated revenues of roughly €700m (£502.5m) in 2013.

For Brakes, owned by buyout fund Bain Capital, the deal would increase its presence in France and would allow it to enter Belgium and Spain.

Nestle’s shares edged up 0.45p yesterday to 76p.