Nestle has announced it will soon complete the takeover of weight-loss organisation Jenny Craig.

The chocolatier and multinational food company said it would acquire, at an undisclosed price, all shares of the group that controls the Jenny Craig franchise in Australia and New Zealand.

This final share purchase will complete a takeover that began in 2006 with the US$600m buy-out of Jenny Craig in every country bar Australia and New Zealand.

Jenny Craig chief executive Patti Larchet said “At Jenny Craig, we are committed to addressing the obesity epidemic and helping our clients lead healthier lives.

“As we continue to evolve our program, the Australian market will benefit from our global program innovation and scientific research.”

Larchet said the Australian and New Zealand Jenny Craig operations would report to the Jenny Craig global headquarters in California and insisted the new structure would not require redundancies.

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When asked about the apparent conflict of manufacturing confectionery as well as a weight-loss business, a Nestle spokesperson said chocolate could be part of a healthy diet.

“Chocolate in moderation can be a fun part of a balanced diet, as a treat,” the spokesperson said. “However, the rise of obesity is a major public health concern around the world, and one which we share, and the Jenny Craig acquisition allows us to help many of our consumers.”

Australian Food News is Australia’s leading resource for the food industry, delivering daily news from the grocery, retail and hospitality sectors to 40,000 professionals each month.