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Nestle hires Rothschild to run Herta sale: sources

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LONDON (Reuters) – Packaged food giant Nestle has hired bankers at Rothschild to sell its Herta packaged meat business, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

The mandate follows Nestle’s announcement earlier this month that it was putting the processed meat company on the block as it seeks to focus on its faster-growing enterprises.

One source estimated the business could fetch a ballpark price of around 500 million Swiss francs in a sale. The sources declined to be identified as the situation is private.

Herta sells processed meat in France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and Ireland. It had 2018 sales of about 680 million Swiss francs ($680.07 million).

“What makes this review a very good and strong option, is the fact that we’ve seen a very significant recovery in the business, very significant turnaround underway over the last two years that bolstered operating profitability and growth, and really positioned the company quite well,” Nestle Chief Executive Mark Schneider said this month on a conference call.

Another source on Monday said Nestle was likely to present the business to other players in the field, which include Germany’s Reinert, and private equity firms, especially those like IK Investment Partners that had vied for Kalle, the German sausage casings maker that U.S. buyout house Clayton Dubilier & Rice bought in 2016.

Nestle is also in the process of selling its much larger skin health business.

Officials at Nestle and Rothschild declined to comment.

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