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CPB - Campbell Soup Co News Story

$45.18 -0.5  -1.1%

Last Trade - 23/09/20

Consumer Defensives
Large Cap
Market Cap £10.84bn
Enterprise Value £14.09bn
Revenue £6.83bn
Position in Universe 597th / 6389

UPDATE 3-Nestle sells most of Jenny Craig in slimming drive

Thu 7th November, 2013 5:48pm
* North Castle Partners buys Jenny Craig for undisclosed sum * Sale part of Nestle plan to shed underperforming brands * Buyer to combine Jenny Craig with Curves fitness chain * Nestle shares up 0.5 pct (Adds analyst quotes, details on North Castle, bylines, share activity; changes headline) By Silke Koltrowitz and Martinne Geller ZURICH/LONDON, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Nestle  NESN.VX  is selling the bulk of its Jenny Craig weight loss business to a U.S. private equity firm as the world's largest food group works to trim its portfolio.  Nestle said on Thursday it was selling the Jenny Craig business in North America and Oceania to North Castle Partners for an undisclosed sum. The smaller business in France is not part of the deal, it said. Reuters reported last month that Nestle was looking to sell Jenny Craig, which makes packaged food and runs weight loss centres, as part of a larger drive to unload weaker brands. ID:nL1N0HZ0BO  Chief Executive Paul Bulcke also told investors last month there would be disposals, though he did not name names. "We want to be in business, not in agony," he said.  ID:nL6N0HR1VG  Jon Cox, an analyst at brokerage Kepler Cheuvreux in Zurich, called the disposal a clear positive. "It is a sign the company is carrying through with its commitment to weed out duds if they can't be turned around," Cox said. Nestle bought Jenny Craig in 2006 for $600 million from private equity groups ACI Capital and MidOcean Partners as part of a push into nutrition that has sent the maker of KitKat and Crunch bars into baby food and sports nutrition.  But several of its brands, including PowerBar energy bars, have failed to take off. Reuters reported in September that Nestle was seeking to unload that brand as well.  ID:nL2N0HM179  When Nestle bought Jenny Craig, it had annual sales of $400 million and was achieving double-digit growth with 3,000 employees and 600 centres, according to analysts at Vontobel.  "With the economic crisis, sales started to stumble," Vontobel said in a research note, in which it estimated current year sales at around 300 million Swiss francs ($329 million). "The brand was loss-making and has been destroying value for years." Jenny Craig's new owner focuses exclusively on health and wellness businesses and plans to combine the brand with the Curves International fitness club chain which it bought in August 2012. North Castle said the brands will continue to operate independently and provide health, fitness and weight loss programmes to different consumer segments, though they will be overseen by the same chief executive, Monty Sharma, who runs Curves.  North Castle said it expects the deal to close later this month. Nestle shares were up 0.5 percent at 66.20 euros at 0855 GMT.  (Editing by David Cowell and David Holmes) (( 58 306 7454)(Reuters Messaging: Keywords: NESTLE JENNYCRAIG/
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