Nestlé To Sell US Chocolate Business By End Of First Quarter 2018
Nestlé aims to sell its US confectionery unit by the end of March as Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider seeks to clinch his first major divestment at the world’s largest food company.
The sales process is “robust” and the Swiss KitKat maker expects to reach a sale in the first quarter of 2018, a spokeswoman said in an emailed response to questions.
Nestlé has made a definite decision to proceed with the divestment after completing its strategic review, she said. Analysts have estimated the unit could fetch $1 billion to $3 billion.
The sale would be the first major step away from the industry by the company that invented milk chocolate.
The US chocolate market is sputtering, and in August, Lindt & Spruengli blamed North America when it forecast the weakest revenue growth in at least eight years.
Earlier this week, Hershey, which has been named as one of the potential bidders, agreed to pay $921 million for Amplify Snack Brands, to expand into popcorn and potato chips.
In June, Nestlé announced it was considering options for the unit, which makes Butterfinger and Baby Ruth candy bars, and pledged to complete the review by the end of the year. In July, Nestlé said the business attracted significant interest from bidders.