Nestlé sells New Zealand candy brands in latest divestment

July 12, 2018 | By | Reply More

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Nestlé will sell Mackintosh’s, Heards, Black Knight, and Fabulicious Red Licorice to Quadrant Private Equity.

Nestlé is tidying up its portfolio through its latest sale. (Reuters pic)

ZÜRICH: Nestlé is selling some small New Zealand candy brands, including Mackintosh’s toffees and Black Knight licorice, to Australia’s Quadrant Private Equity, the latest example of the world’s largest food company tidying up its portfolio.

“Following a review of Nestlé’s confectionery business in Australia and New Zealand, Nestlé is looking to focus on its major chocolate, baking, and medicated lozenge brands in New Zealand,” Nestlé said in a statement on Thursday.

It said it had reached a conditional agreement to sell New Zealand confectionery brands Mackintosh’s, Heards, Black Knight, and Fabulicious Red Licorice, as well as other Oceania brands Life Savers and Oddfellows, to Quadrant. It did not disclose the price of the deal.

The company said up to 55 jobs out of a total of over 270 would be lost at its Wiri factory that will reduce output to focus on culinary products, such as Maggi soups.

Nestlé agreed to sell its US confectionery business to Italy’s Ferrero for US$2.8 billion (RM11.3 billion) in January, and is under shareholder pressure to divest more.

Activist shareholder Third Point is publicly pushing for a faster overhaul at the company aimed at improving sales and profits at the Swiss company grappling with weakened demand for packaged food.

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