Nestle adds Chinese water brands to list of possible disposals

Nestle SA is considering selling a bottled water business in China as the world’s largest food company sheds underperforming brands.
Nestle said yesterday it’s considering a number of options including a sale. The unit, which sells a locally sourced version of Nestle Pure Life and Da Shan Yunnan Spring, has annual sales of about 50 million francs ($53 million) and probably could fetch a similar price, estimated MainFirst analyst Alain Oberhuber. Nestle faces strong domestic competition in that market.
Nestle has been planning to slim down both in China and in bottled water. The company is said to have narrowed the list of bidders for its ailing Chinese business Yinlu Foods Group, which may fetch more than $400 million. Last month, the company put its U.S. mass-market bottled water business up for sale to concentrate on premium brands.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider has made more than 50 deals since he took charge in 2017. He said in February his one regret regarding 2019 was that portfolio management was heavy on disposals and a little light on acquisitions, and hinted at a full pipeline of deals for this year.

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