Nestlé SA has paid US$600m to acquire weight management company Jenny Craig from a private equity group including ACI Capital and MidOcean Partners.

Jenny Craig, which operates more than 600 centres in the acquired region, will keep its own management team in place to report directly to Nestlé Nutrition.

The deal includes Jenny Craig's nutritional products, services, and personalised weight management programmes in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which made $400m in sales last year.

Nestlé group wants weight management to form a "new pillar of activity" within its nutrition business, which currently focuses on infant nutrition, healthcare nutrition and performance nutrition.
 
Nestlé chairman and CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said: "With this strategic acquisition, the group takes another important step in its transformation process into a nutrition, health and wellness company that sees weight management as a key competence.

"The rise of obesity and the resulting metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, is a major public health concern, not only in the USA but also the world over. The Jenny Craig acquisition puts us in a privileged position to help many of our consumers."