ABN AMRO in €220m food deal

Swiss pharmaceutical company Norvatis has sold a dietary and slimming products business to ABN AMRO Capital for €220m.

ABN AMRO Capital France, the French office of the investment bank’s private equity division, has acquired the Nutrition & Santé business unit of Swiss-headquartered pharmaceutical and consumer health company Novartis for €220 million ($258 million).

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2006.

“We consider the company as an exceptional platform to expand in the dietary food business via organic and external growth,” said Hervé Claquin, Chief Executive Officer of ABN AMRO Capital France, in a statement.

Headquartered in Revel, France, Nutrition & Santé provides dietary and slimming products to groceries and supermarkets, pharmacies and drugs stores, as well as specialist channels such as health food stores and gym clubs. The company reported sales of €245 million and operating income of €21 million for the 12 month period ended September 2005.

ABN AMRO Capital’s French team completed several transactions in France last year. In October 2004, it acquired a stake in Score Groupe, which provides outsourced restaurant services. It also sold French heating company De Dietrich Thermique; industrial engineering business d’AFE; and power supplier MGE-UPS.

ABN AMRO Capital has offices in France, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Sweden and Australia. According to the firm, total funds under management at the end of June 2005 were €2.3 billion.