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May 9, 2019

Kraft Heinz ‘puts Plasmon baby food brand on market’

US food heavyweight Kraft Heinz has reportedly put its baby food brand up for sale, the latest asset destined for the chopping block. 

By Dean Best

US food heavyweight Kraft Heinz has reportedly put its Plasmon baby food brand up for sale with initial bids due by the end of next week.

Private-equity firms and food groups are looking at the business, two sources told Reuters, adding that Plasmon could be worth about EUR700m (US$783m). One of the news agency’s sources said PAI Partners was among investors expected to present a preliminary bid, adding that rival private-equity firm Cinven could also be interested.

Reuters said it approached all the parties – Kraft Heinz, PAI Partners, Cinven and JPMorgan, which is believed to be acting as adviser – but all declined to comment.

In April, Reuters had flagged the possibility that Kraft Heinz would offload the Plasmon business, with Italy-based agri-food company Newlat touted as a potential interested party. At the time, just-food asked Kraft Heinz to comment on the speculation but it declined, while a M&A adviser reportedly acting on behalf of Newlat also would not comment. 

Kraft Heinz has faced a difficult time of late having reported a huge fourth-quarter loss and a multi-billion dollar writedown on certain assets. And, as a result of a subpoena issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Nasdaq-listed firm restated its financial results this week.

Illinois-based Kraft Heinz is also seeking other assets disposals such as its frozen potato brand Ore-IdaMaxwell House coffee and dairy business Breakstone’s. It has also appointed a new chief executive to head up the firm from July.

just-food analysis: Is the tide already turning for Kraft Heinz before new chief Miguel Patricio sails in?

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