Nestle in talks with EQT, ADIA for $10 billion skin health deal

Business

FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured during the 152nd Annual General Meeting of Nestle in Lausanne, Switzerland April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – Nestle SA has entered exclusive negotiations to sell its skin health business to a consortium led by private equity firm EQT Partners and ADIA in a deal worth 10.2 billion Swiss francs ($10.12 billion), it said on Thursday.

The proposed transaction with EQT and a unit of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) was expected to close in the second half of 2019 pending regulatory approval.

Nestle will provide an update on how it will use the proceeds and its future capital structure at that time, the world’s biggest food group said in a statement.

Reuters and the Financial Times had reported on Wednesday that EQT was putting the finishing touches on the deal.

EQT and ADIA had faced competition from rival buyout funds and some industry players including a consortium of Advent and Cinven as well as U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co Inc and European fund PAI Partners, sources had said.

Nestle’s skin health unit, which sells Cetaphil, was formed in 2014. The unit was put up for sale last September as Nestle tries to ditch underperforming businesses in an effort to fend off criticism from an activist investor.

Nestle Skin Health had net sales of 2.8 billion Swiss francs in 2018. Based in the Swiss city of Lausanne, it employs more than 5,000 people across 40 countries.

Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

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