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SWITZERLAND -- In another bid to balance its portfolio with more weight-conscious products, chocolate maker Nestle S.A. said yesterday it would purchase weight-loss product maker Jenny Craig Inc. for $600 million.
The acquisition follows Nestle S.A.'s purchase last month of Uncle Tobys, an Australian maker of nutritional cereals and snacks.
Nestle reached the latest agreement with a private equity group including ACI Capital and MidOcean Partners for the acquisition of Jenny Craig, a weight management company offering consumers a range of branded nutritional products and services in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The company achieved sales in excess of $400 million during the last 12 months, with double-digit organic growth.
Jenny Craig, founded in 1983, offers consumers personalized weight management programs tailored to their specific needs. Through one of the more than 600 branded Jenny Craig centers, consumers can receive regular one-on-one weight management and lifestyle advice from trained consultants.
The current Jenny Craig management team will continue to run the business and will report directly to Nestle Nutrition. Weight management will thus form a new pillar of activity within the Nestle group's autonomous nutrition business, which already has a global presence in infant nutrition, health care nutrition, and performance nutrition.
"With this strategic acquisition, the group takes another important step in its transformation process into a nutrition, health, and wellness company that sees weight management as a key competence," said Nestle chairman and c.e.o. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe in a statement. "The rise of obesity and the resulting metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, is a major public health concern, not only in the USA, but also the world over. The Jenny Craig acquisition puts us in a privileged position to help many of our consumers."