Swiss food and beverage giant Nestlé has sold its 10% stake in flavours and fragrances firm Givaudan, The Wall Street Journal reports. The stake, which has been valued at almost US$1.3bn, was sold through a private placement to institutional investors rather than on the open market.
Nestlé first acquired the stake when it sold food ingredient company FIS to Givaudan in 2002. It is said to be one of Givaudan's biggest clients for food flavourings.
The sale is said to be in line with Nestlé's attempts to streamline its business, and follows the sale of its Jenny Craig business in November to US private equity company North Castle Partners. According to The Wall Street Journal, CEO Paul Bulcke recently stated that the company intends to fix or sell a "sizable percentage" of its underperforming brands and businesses.
Meanwhile, speculation continues that the company could sell its 29.8% stake in French cosmetics company L'Oréal after the deal between the two firms expires in April 2014.