Associated British Foods has bought the food and beverage operations of Swiss group Novartis for some 272.5m euros.

ABF is to acquire worldwide ownership of brands such as Ovaltine, Ovomaltine, Caotine and Lacovo, except in the US and Puerto Rico.

Key to the deal was ABF’s commitment to maximise job transfers and continue employment globally, especially in Switzerland where the company has no overlapping activities, Novartis said.

In a statement Novartis said the sale of its health food and slimming and sports nutrition unit continue.