April 14, 2015 / 7:40 AM / 5 years ago

Nestle nears sale of frozen food unit to Brakes: source

LONDON (Reuters) - Nestle NESN.VX is in advanced talks to sell its frozen food unit Davigel to Brakes Group, owned by buyout fund Bain Capital, a person familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

A Nestle logo is pictured on sample products on display at the company headquarters in Vevey February 19, 2015. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The talks, reported earlier by French daily Les Echos, are ongoing and a deal is expected to be signed soon, said the person, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.

Credit Suisse CSGN.VX is handling the sale for Nestle, which is expected to raise between 200 million and 300 million euros ($211-317 million), said a second source.

Reuters reported last year that Nestle was exploring a possible sale of Davigel and that Brakes Group was one of the potential buyers.

Davigel, which supplies frozen and chilled meals and ice cream to restaurants and hospitals, was part of the Buitoni frozen food business Nestle bought in 1989.

Nestle, the world’s largest food company whose wide range of products includes Gerber baby food and Perrier bottled water, announced two years ago it was seeking to divest underperforming businesses.

Over the past few years, it has sold the PowerBar and Musashi brands to U.S. group Post Holdings (POST.N), as well as its U.S. frozen pasta business to Brynwood Partners and the bulk of its Jennie Craig business.

It also sold a 10 percent stake in fragrance and flavor maker Givaudan GIVN.VX in December 2013.

Nestle declined to comment, while Brakes Group and Credit Suisse were not immediately available for comment.

($1 = 0.9478 euros)

Reporting by Sophie Sassard in London; Additional reporting by Joshua Franklin in Zurich; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer and Mark Potter

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