Nestle sells Libby's line to Heinz in Canada

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TORONTO -- Nestle Canada Inc. of Toronto has signed a letter of intent to sell its Libby's canned beans and canned pasta business to H.J. Heinz Co. of Canada Ltd., also of Toronto.

The deal includes selling Nestle's Wallaceburg, Ontario factory which produces the Libby line of products. Heinz will continue to use the Libby name.

A company spokesperson for Nestle says the sell-off was a strategic move since canned beans and pasta are no longer a core business. It follows a similar decision to divest canning operations in the U.K. The company now focuses on such products as coffee, confectionery and non-canned food. Heinz's line includes food service, baby food, ketchup and condiments, pet food, tuna and diet food.

Nestle Canada, a unit of Switzerland's Nestle SA, has sales in excess of $750m. Heinz Canada, a unit of U.S. parent H.J. Heinz Co., has estimated annual sales of $370m.

Copyright September 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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