Nestle to sell 60% of Herta meats to Casa Tarradellas to create JV

(Reuters) - Nestle NESN.S said on Thursday it had agreed to sell a majority stake in Herta, its packaged meat business, to family-run Spanish company Casa Tarradellas to create a joint venture.

Nestle in February put Herta charcuterie, the cold cuts and meat-based products unit, under strategic review as it no longer fit the company’s strategic focus on healthy nutrition and plant-based offerings.

The Swiss company would hold a 40% stake in the joint venture that would include Herta charcuterie, available in six European countries, and Herta dough business in France and Belgium.

Herta charcuterie and dough units together reported sales of 667 million euros last year and have been valued at 690 million euros, Nestle said.

Herta vegetarian business would be retained and developed by Nestle, it said.

Chief Executive Mark Schneider has accelerated a portfolio review at the company, doing around 50 transactions and reviews since he took over in 2017. Earlier this month, Nestle agreed to sell for $4 billion its U.S. ice-cream business, which includes Haagen-Dazs, to Froneri - its joint venture with private equity firm PAI partners.

The Herta deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli