(Adds details, background on JV)
ZURICH, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Nestle has agreed to sell its U.S. ice cream business to Froneri, moving U.S. control of brands including Häagen-Dazs to the joint venture the Swiss group set up in 2016 with PAI Partners in a deal valued at $4 billion.
The deal, announced on Wednesday, adds the company’s U.S. business - worth $1.8 billion in sales - to Froneri’s existing control of Nestle ice cream brands in a raft of European markets.
Nestle said it would continue to manage its remaining ice cream businesses in Canada, Latin America and Asia as part of its current market structure.
Froneri, created by the 2016 deal with PAI-owned UK business R&R Ice Cream, had a turnover of around 2.9 billion Swiss francs ($2.91 billion) in 2018.
“(We) are convinced that Froneri’s successful business model can be extended to the U.S. market,” Nestle’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider said.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 following regulatory approvals.
$1 = 0.9972 Swiss francs Reporting by Michael Shields and Nivedita Balu; editing by Edmund Blair and Patrick Graham