Nestle Searches for Acquisitions to Bolster Health-Science Range
Nestle SA (NESN), the Swiss maker of Nescafe coffee and KitKat, said it’s looking for acquisitions to strengthen its health-science range for chronic diseases and brain health.
“The future is about acquisitions, partnerships and innovation,” Luis Cantarell, chief executive officer of Nestle Health Science, said in an interview in London. “We’ve been active in making acquisitions and we’ll remain active.”
Nestle’s nutrition and health-care sales in the first half rose 6.6 percent to 5.21 billion Swiss francs ($5.33 billion) after an investment last year in medical food developer Vital Foods and acquisitions including CM&D Pharma Ltd., which makes products for people with kidney disease. In July, Nestle acquired a stake in U.S. company Accera, whose Axona milkshake is designed for dietary management of Alzheimer’s disease.
“We’ll help Accera in clinical trials and evaluate the possible launch of Axona in Europe,” Cantarell said. “Nestle will help them reinforce the quality of the product with further evidence.”
The Nestle Health Science unit was set up in January 2011 to deliver nutrition products for conditions such as diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease.
“We want to create a new market combining nutrition and health,” Cantarell said.
Nestle, based in Vevey, Switzerland, will unite its nutrition and science operations in the U.K. as part of a 500 million-pound ($780 million) investment in manufacturing facilities over the next three years, it said at the British Business Embassy summit in London yesterday.
The company will transfer its London-based health-care nutrition unit to the northern England town of Liverpool where Nestle owns Vitaflo, a U.K. developer of nutritional products for metabolic and stomach disorders, which it bought in 2010.
“We have a good business in the U.K.,” Cantarell said. “We hope to work closely with the ministry of health, invest more resources and perform more clinical trials.”
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