(Reuters) – Mark Schneider, Nestle’s (NESN.S) first outside chief executive officer in almost a century, has made big strides in positioning the world’s largest food company for the future with aggressive deal making since taking over in January 2017.
Nestle CEO Mark Schneider attends the Fortune Global Forum in Paris, France November 19, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
He has set a vision on selling premium products in fast growing categories such as pet food and coffee, while disposing businesses in the slower growth areas of lunch meat and chocolate.
The 54-year-old German-American has promised to replace as much as 10% of Nestle’s existing portfolio with products of the moment by the end of 2020, under pressure from activist investor Dan Loeb, who through his investment firm Third Point took an about $3 billion stake in Nestle in 2017. (reut.rs/34b1H2z)
In October, Schneider indicated he would not stop at the 10% target, calling the portfolio review an “ongoing process.”
On Wednesday, Nestle agreed to sell for $4 billion its U.S. ice-cream business, which includes Haagen-Daazs, to Froneri – its ice-cream joint venture with private equity firm PAI partners.
Below is a summary of the top deals under Schneider’s tenure:
* February – The company put its Herta lunch meat business up for sale. The business pulled in nearly $700 million in sales during 2018 and is still seeking buyers.
* May – Nestle to sell its skin health unit that makes Cetaphil and Proactiv skin care brands to private equity firm EQT Partners for 10.2 billion Swiss francs ($10.1 billion). The business accounted for about 3% of group sales.
* January – Plans to sell its U.S. confectionary business to Ferrero for $2.8 billion, handing over control of brands Butterfinger, Crunch and Baby Ruth to the Italian manufacturer. The deal marked Schneider’s first big sale and was another step to focus on healthier products. (reut.rs/2snYMX2)
* May – Enters into $7.2 billion deal to license U.S. coffee chain Starbucks Corp’s (SBUX.O) packaged coffee globally. The contract includes Starbucks-branded capsules for Nestle’s Nespresso and Dolce Gusto single-serve brewers and adds another premium coffee brand to Nestle’s coffee portfolio. (bit.ly/2PglJ7y)
* September – Sells its Gerber Life Insurance unit to Western and Southern Financial Group for $1.55 billion in cash. The business that sold life insurance for families and juveniles had sales of $856 million in 2017 or less than 1% of group total that year.
* September – Nestle acquires majority interest in California-based coffee roaster Blue Bottle Coffee, its first step into the fast-growing, super premium coffee shop segment. (bit.ly/2snuzru)
* In the same month, agrees to buy California-based Sweet Earth, the plant-based foods manufacturer behind the Awesome burger, for an undisclosed sum. (bit.ly/2EcFbMe)
* December – Signs deal to buy privately held Atrium Innovations, a Canadian vitamin maker, from a group of investors led by Permira Funds for $2.3 billion in cash. The deal gives Nestle exposure to the consumer healthcare category. (bit.ly/36ro05O)
Compiled by Siddharth Cavale and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr