STOP ALLOWING EVERYONE TO MAKE MONEY ON YOUR PROBLEM WITH FOOD BUT YOU!
LONDON — Nestlé, the Swiss food giant, said on Thursday that it had agreed to sell its Jenny Craig brand in North America and Australia, New Zealand and other parts of the Pacific region to North Castle Partners, a Connecticut private equity firm focused on health and wellness businesses.
The deal comes seven years after Nestlé spent $600 million to buy the weight-loss company from two private equity firms. Paul Bulcke, the chief executive of Nestlé, said last month that the company planned to divest some of its underperforming brands.
The Jenny Craig business in France is not part of the transaction. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close this month, were not disclosed.
North Castle’s portfolio includes Curves, Red Door Spa and several other fitness and lifestyle companies.
Jenny Craig sells portion-controlled, prepackaged food and tailors weight-loss programs for consumers, offering telephone and in-store consultations for a fee.
Once the deal is completed, North Castle will combine Jenny Craig with Curves, which it acquired in August 2012.
“We are very excited to bring Jenny Craig into the North Castle family and to continue its 30-year tradition of providing consumers with dedicated one-on-one coaching and great tasting, clinically proven food to support their weight loss goals,” said Charles F. Baird Jr., North Castle’s founder and managing partner.
Monty Sharma, the chief executive of Curves, will become president and chief executive of the combined Jenny Craig and Curves business.
Nestlé acquired Jenny Craig in 2006 after winning a long-running auction. Jenny Craig had been put up for sale by ACI Capital and MidOcean Partners, a spinoff of Deutsche Bank’s private equity business.
The private equity firms bought a majority interest in Jenny Craig from the company’s founders, Jenny Craig and her husband, Sid, in 2002 for $115 million.
At the time, Nestlé said it was looking to bulk up its Nestlé Nutrition unit, which includes the Gerber baby food business and its PowerBar energy bar brand. Reuters has reported that Nestlé is looking to sell its Powerbar business.
The Swiss company has a large stable of brands that touch on almost every area of food, including Kit Kat chocolate bars, Häagen-Dazs ice cream, Nespresso coffee, Lean Cuisine frozen food and Purina dog and cat food.
In recent months, the company has begun to trim its offerings, selling Peters Ice Cream, an Australian brand, to a private equity firm in June, and the Carola and Val Saint Lambert bottled water brands in France in July.
While not addressing any specific business lines, Mr. Bulcke said at an investor presentation on Oct. 1 that there was a short list of business lines the company planned to focus on fixing, but some business lines could be sold.
“We are business people. We want to do business, not get rid of business,” Mr. Bulcke said. “But there are certain things that we don’t see that we can fix.”