The Swiss food giant, Nestlé, has acquired the United States licensing rights to the up-market ice cream brand, Häagen-Dazs.This content was published on December 27, 2001 - 10:07
Nestlé is paying $641 million in cash to Häagen-Dazs' current owners, General Mills.
The Vevey-based firm is able to buy the brand because of a deal it signed in 1999 with Pillsbury to form a 50-50 joint venture combining their ice-cream brands in the US.
That deal gave Nestlé an option to buy Pillsbury's ice-cream interests if Pillsbury itself was bought, which it since has been by General Mills.
General Mills retains the international rights to the Häagen-Dazs brand, which has worldwide sales of about $1 billion annually. Analysts say it is the clear leader in the "super premium" ice cream market.
Nestlé is the world's second largest ice-cream producer, behind the Anglo-Dutch Unilever group. The two companies occupy respectively 10 and 16 per cent of the world market.
swissinfo with agencies
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