Nestlé has confirmed newspaper reports that it is interested in acquiring the German ice-cream manufacturer, Schöller.
In a news release on Friday, the Vevey-based food company said that it was looking at consolidating its position as the global number two player in the ice-cream sector.
"Nestlé announces that negotiations are in progress with the owners of Schöller Holding, with the intention of jointly determining ways and means to optimise the development of the ice cream and frozen food sectors," the statement said.
It said Südzucker, the majority owner of Schöller, in future intended to focus on sugar and sweeteners, while Nestlé would reinforce its ice cream business in northern and central Europe.
On Thursday, a spokesman for Nestlé said ice-cream was a strategic growth area for the company.
At present Nestlé ranks third in Germany in terms of ice-cream sales, behind Unilever and Schöller. Its share of the German market stands at around 10 per cent.
Analysts estimate Schöller's market value at around SFr380 million ($212 million).
swissinfo with agencies
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