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Nestlé sells US candy brands to Ferrero

Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, has agreed to sell its U.S. confectionery business to Ferrero, the Italian family-owned maker of Nutella, for US$2.8 billion, in the first substantial step away from the candy industry.

The sale of the unit, which includes the Butterfinger and Baby Ruth brands but excludes KitKat, is also the first major divestment by the Swiss food giant since Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider took the helm last year. Nestlé plans to focus on healthier and faster-growing categories like coffee, pet food and water.

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