Associated British Foods has acquired Novartis AG’s Food and Beverage business for 272.5 million Euros (£171 million).
The deal involves the purchase of Ovaltine and associated brands, such as Ovomaltine, but did not include the rights to the Ovaltine brand in the US or Puerto Rico.
For the last two years, on average, sales of these these malt based products have grown by 4% a year, with sales evenly split between Europe and the rest of the world, according to the company.
In addition to Ovaltine, the acquisition includes a number of strong national brands including positions in coffee and hot chocolate.
Manufacturing facilities included in the acquisition are in Switzerland, Thailand, the Philippines, China and Australia.
ABF, through Twinings, is already successful in the international hot beverage market as a leading speciality tea business. Twinings has sales of over £200 million in the financial year to September 2001. Ovaltine’s sales for the similar period were 244 million Euros (£153 million).