VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Froneri has entered into an agreement to buy Nestle S.A.’s U.S. ice cream business for $4 billion. Froneri is a joint venture created in 2016 between Nestle and PAI Partners, a European private equity company. Once completed, the transaction will make Froneri the second largest ice cream manufacturer in the world, according to the company.
“This is another milestone acquisition for Froneri as we drive toward becoming the world’s best ice cream company,” said Ibrahim Najafi, chief executive officer of Froneri. “We’re delighted to be bringing such well-loved U.S. brands into the Froneri family. The acquisition is testament to the strength and longevity of our relationship with Nestle. This partnership and the continued support of PAI Partners will be essential to ensuring we continue to delight consumers with innovative, high-quality products in all markets.”
Nestle’s U.S. ice cream business portfolio includes such brands as Häagen-Dazs, Drumstick and Outshine. The business had sales of approximately $1.8 billion in 2018, and it employs more than 2,300.
“The creation of Froneri has been a phenomenal success,” said Mark Schneider, c.e.o. of Nestle. “We are now making this business our global strategic partner in ice cream and are convinced that Froneri’s successful business model can be extended to the U.S. market. With this transaction, we are taking a decisive step toward our goal of achieving global leadership in ice cream.”
Froneri has operations in Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. The Nestle acquisition follows the acquisition of Tip Top Ice Cream in New Zealand in May and Noga Ice Creams in Israel in July, which gave the company entry to those markets for the first time.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, following the completion of customary regulatory approvals. Nestle will continue to manage its remaining ice cream businesses in Canada, Latin America and Asia as part of its current market structure.