VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle S.A. has put another business under strategic review, which includes a potential sale. This time it’s the company’s Herta charcuterie business, which offers cold cuts and meat-based products in Europe. Nestle S.A. already sold its U.S. confectionery business and Gerber Life Insurance Co. A strategic review began last September for the Nestle Skin Health business.
The Herta charcuterie review comes as Nestle is positioning its portfolio toward high-growth categories, including plant-based food products. The review will explore strategic options for the Herta charcuterie business, including a potential sale, and should be completed by the end of the year. Nestle will retain and develop its existing Herta branded dough and vegetarian businesses.
“Within food and beverage, I think we've also made some very clear choices that show you where we’re headed, and our latest announcement from this morning that we’re exploring strategic options for Herta is another case in point,” said U. Mark Schneider, chief executive officer of Nestle S.A., in a Feb. 14 earnings call to discuss fiscal-year 2018 results.
Herta charcuterie had sales of about 680 million Swiss francs ($677 million) in 2018. The strategic review covers Herta charcuterie in France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
“I think what makes this review a very good and strong option is the fact that we’ve seen a very significant recovery in the business, a very significant turnaround underway the last two years that bolstered operating profitability and growth and really positioned the company quite well, most notably, in its key market in France,” Mr. Schneider said.
Nestle in January 2018 agreed to sell its U.S. confectionery business to Ferrero for $2.8 billion in cash. The company in September of 2018 agreed to sell its Gerber Life Insurance Co. to Western & Southern Financial Group for $1.55 billion in cash. In fiscal-year 2018, Vevey-based Nestle S.A. posted global sales of 91,439 million Swiss francs ($90,875 million), which were up 2.1% from 89,590 million Swiss francs in the previous fiscal year.