Food group Nestlé has announced that it has acquired US meal delivery company Freshly in a deal valuing it at $950 million (€815.9 million), with further potential payments or 'earnouts' of up to $550 million (€472.9 million).
The purchase marks another deal for Nestlé boss Mark Schneider, who has bought and sold around 50 businesses since taking over in 2017.
Under Schneider, the world's largest packaged food group has been moving into faster-growing areas like premium coffee and pet food and away from slower categories like mass market candy and bottled water.
Freshly is a weekly subscription service delivering cooked meals that can be heated in three minutes. Nestlé said Freshly's 2020 sales were forecast at $430 million and it ships more than one million meals per week.
"Consumers are embracing e-commerce and eating at home like never before. It's an evolution brought on by the pandemic but taking hold for the long term," Nestlé USA head Steve Presley said in a statement.
Nestlé acquired a minority stake in Freshly in 2017, as the lead investor in a $77 million (€66.1 million) funding round.
Other players in the food delivery market include meal kit companies HelloFresh and Blue Apron Holdings and takeaway food groups Delivery Hero and Just Eat Takeaway.
The Freshly transaction was closed on Friday (30 October), the Swiss food group said.