US food giant Kraft Foods has announced that it has agreed to sell its yoghurt business to Canadian frozen desserts maker CoolBrands International for around US$59m.

Kraft said it was selling the business, which includes licences for the Breyers, Creme Savers and Light 'n Lively brands, to better focus its brand portfolio. The company estimated that the business, which includes a manufacturing facility in North Lawrence, NY, will generate approximately $90m in net revenues in 2004.

"One of the core strategies of our Sustainable Growth Plan - transforming our portfolio - calls for accelerating Kraft's shift toward businesses in which we have sustainable competitive advantage," said Dave Johnson, Kraft's president of North America Commercial. "Selling these brands permits us to better focus our time and resources on opportunities providing Kraft greater potential for long-term growth."

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2005.

"Yoghurt combines indulgent taste with good nutrition and fits perfectly with our overall portfolio," said CoolBrands' president and co-chief executive officer, David J. Stein, adding that the acquisition would enable CoolBrands to diversify its snack offerings in the high growth yoghurt category.