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 Thursday, 23 January, 2003, 08:03 GMT
Nestle scoops up ice-cream rival
Nestle brands
Ice cream is among Nestle's fastest-growing businesses
Nestle has taken a further step in its attempt to wrest control of the ice-cream market from rival Unilever.

The Swiss food giant said it would buy the ice cream unit of Moevenpick, a Swiss catering and hospitality firm which sells around $220m-worth of premium ice cream annually.

The deal extends Nestle's global reach, and allows it further to penetrate Germany, where Moevenpick is among the market leaders.

Nestle said it remained on the lookout for further acquisitions in the ice cream sector, one of the fastest-growing of its many businesses.

High hopes

The Moevenpick deal is Nestle's third big acquisition in the ice cream sector in recent months.

Last year, it completed its control over global premium brand Haagen-Dazs, and took a stake in US producer Dreyer's.

At the time of the US deal, Nestle said it would become the world's number-one supplier when it exercises its option to take over the whole firm in 2006.

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