INTERNATIONAL – Nestle put its skin health unit up for sale on Thursday, as the maker of Nescafe and Perrier water ditches underperforming businesses and seeks to fend off criticism from an activist investor demanding an overhaul.
The Switzerland-based company is under pressure from Third Point, a hedge fund run by investor Daniel Loeb, who has demanded bolder moves to lift performance.
Nestle said it was exploring strategic options for the unit, saying “the future growth opportunities of Nestle Skin Health lie increasingly outside the group’s strategic scope” and its focus on food, drinks and nutritional health.
This week, Nestle agreed to sell its Gerber Life Insurance business for $1.55 billion (R 22bn), while sources told Reuters it was also bidding for GlaxoSmithKline’s Horlicks drink.
The skin health unit, which makes Cetaphil and Proactiv skin care brands, as well as Restylane wrinkle fillers, had sales of 2.7 billion Swiss francs ($2.8 billion) last year, accounting for about 3 percent of the Nestle’s total.