Nestlé sells US ice cream business; Fort Wayne plant to remain as is

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VEVEY, Switzerland (WANE) — Nestlé will sell off its ice cream business to one of its own off-brands in a move that aims to create one of the world’s largest ice cream companies.

In a news release Wednesday, Nestlé announced it had struck a $4 billion deal to sell its U.S. ice cream business to Froneri, an ice cream-focused joint venture Nestlé created in 2016 with PAI Partners. Nestlé produces ice cream brands including Häagen-Dazs and Drumstick, as well as Dreyer’s and Edy’s, made in Fort Wayne.

A spokesperson with Nestlé said the Fort Wayne Nestlé ice cream plant at 3426 N. Wells St. is included in the deal but that there are have been no discussions in the sale that would affect its operation. Froneri will take control at some point during the first quarter of 2020.

The deal with Nestlé will allow Froneri to enter the U.S. ice cream market. The company currently has operations in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific, the news release said.

In August, Nestlé announced it was eliminating 40 jobs at its Fort Wayne ice cream distribution center. Days later, the company announced it was closing a frozen distribution center in Indianapolis by year’s end and laying off all 172 workers there. This week, though, Nestlé announced plans to invest $200 million at its Anderson production facility.

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