Nestlé In Talks Over $10bn Sale Of Skin Health Unit
Nestlé SA has entered exclusive negotiations to sell its skin health business to a consortium led by EQT Partners and Abu Dhabi's ADIA in a deal worth 10.2 billion Swiss francs ($10.12 billion), it said on Thursday.
The proposed transaction with private equity firm EQT and a unit of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority was expected to close in the second half of 2019, pending regulatory approval, it said.
Nestlé will provide an update on how it will use the proceeds and its future capital structure at that time, the world's biggest packaged food group said in a statement.
Nestlé shares were indicated 0.6% higher in pre-market activity.
Reuters and the Financial Times had reported on Wednesday that EQT was putting the finishing touches to the deal.
Nestlé Chief Executive Mark Schneider put the skin health unit up for sale last September as the group moved to ditch underperforming businesses in an effort to fend off criticism from an activist investor who wanted an overhaul.
Nestlé Skin Health, which sells Cetaphil and Proactiv skin care products, Restylane wrinkle fillers and prescription dermatology medicines, had sales of 2.8 billion Swiss francs last year.
Nestlé created the unit in 2014 when it bought out L'Oreal's stake in their Galderma joint venture.
Under former Chief Executive Paul Bulcke, skin treatments were part of Nestlé's push into higher-growth health products to counter a slowdown in its traditional food business.
But the unit has performed poorly, leading to one-off costs and restructuring.
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.