Nestlé, the world's largest food and drink group, announced on Monday that it intends to buy a majority stake in Chinese confectioner Hsu Fu Chi for $1.67bn or SFr1.4bn. The Swiss food company, which produces Dreyer's ice cream, Nescafe Coffee and chocolate bars including KitKat, stated it will acquire 60 percent of shares in Hsu Fu Chi whilst the Hsu family will retain the other 40 percent.
According to a company statement, Nestlé will purchase 43.5 percent of the company from shareholders and then buy the remaining 16.5 percent stake in the company from the group's family members who hold a majority stake.
Nestlé CEO, Paul Bulcke, said: “This proposed partnership will greatly reinforce our presence in China. It also demonstrates our long-term commitment to China and enhances our ability to grow our portfolio of international and local brands in this dynamic market.” Hsu Fu Chi, which makes cereal snacks, sweets, cakes and the traditional Chinese pastry Sachima, had sales of $798m last year and employs 16,000 people.
“We are delighted to partner with Nestlé. Together with Nestlé, we will accelerate the development of the Hsu Fu Chi brand, its production and distribution capabilities and ensure Hsu Fu Chi's continued growth momentum and brand legacy for the future,” said CEO and chairman Hsu Chen. The completion of the takeover is subject to an authorisation by Chinese authorities, Nestlé said.