Gets Licensing Rights in $641 Million Ice Cream Deal

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NEW YORK ( -- Nestle USA, Gelndale, Calif., paid $641 million to buy General Mills' 50% stake in Ice Cream Partners USA, the joint venture struck in 1999 to combine Nestle's novelty ice cream business with Pillsbury's Haagen-Dazs frozen desserts.

The new agreement, which gives Nestle a 99-year license for use of the Haagen-Dazs brand in the U.S. and Canada, was triggered by General Mills' recently completed acquisition of Pillsbury.

Ice Cream Partners USA had sales of roughly $700 million in 2000, according to Nestle.

The Wolf Group, New York, handles advertising for Haagen-Dazs.

Nestle did not comment on whether it would shift the brand to one of its roster agencies, among them Publicis Groupe's Publicis, Dallas, and Interpublic's McCann-Erickson Worldwide.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding, Worldwide, San Francisco, handled the Haagen-Dazs account.

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