Swiss food giant Nestlé has announced that it has signed an agreement with the Mövenpick Group, a Swiss food and hospitality firm, to acquire the Mövenpick brand of ice cream products and related ice cream businesses worldwide with the exception of the New Zealand manufacturing operations.

Mövenpick branded ice cream sales worldwide amount to approximately CHF300m (US$220m), mostly through licence partners. The Swiss business, including exports, accounts for around CHF40m. The acquisition price was not disclosed. Nestlé said the transaction is subject to regulatory approval in only a very limited number of countries.

Mövenpick Group has operated its ice cream business mainly through licensing agreements with companies in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In Germany, the key market for Mövenpick ice cream, German ice cream maker Schöller, which was acquired by Nestlé in March 2002, held the Mövenpick licence. Nestlé and Mövenpick have been in talks for several months regarding this licence, after Mövenpick tried to change the licence agreement.

The new acquisition agreement between Nestlé and Mövenpick does not include other Mövenpick food businesses such as coffee, jams, chilled dairy products and wine or the hotel and restaurant business, which will continue to be owned by the Mövenpick Group.