General Mills has no intention of selling Pillsbury's premium ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs to Nestlé, said Pillsbury UK md Jim Moseley. Speculation that Nestlé was eying up Pillsbury's premium ice cream brand heightened after regulators approved General Mills' acquisition of Pillsbury last month. Under the terms of an agreement signed between Pillsbury and Nestlé when their US joint venture Ice Cream Partnership was formed two years ago, each side has the option to buy the other's stake if it changes ownership. Nestlé is widely expected to exercise that option now that Pillsbury has changed hands from Diageo to General Mills. The deal would give Nestlé 100% control over the Häagen-Dazs brand in the US. However, reports that General Mills will sell the rest of the Häagen Dazs business to Nestlé are "pure speculation," said Moseley. General Mills fully expects Nestlé to exercise its option to take control of their US joint venture, he said. However, the message concerning the rest of Häagen-Dazs' operations is clear: "General Mills is just not going to sell. "Häagen-Dazs' distribution network is absolutely critical to Pillsbury's international infrastructure. "Sure, Nestlé would love to buy it; it's a fast growing and profitable brand. But General Mills is not going to sell." {{NEWS }}

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