Nestle SA Chief Executive Peter Brabeck played down on Friday market talk that the world's biggest food group may have its eye on Dutch functional food expert Koninklijke Numico NV Reuters reports.
Brabeck told reporters at a management symposium that any Numico acquisition looked set to raise anti-trust issues and would get Nestle too much into the retail side of the food business. Numico Chief Executive Hans van der Wielen said on May 14 in a newspaper interview that his company could become the target for a takeover after its recent stock price fall.
Brabeck said he had read of Numico's willingness to consider strategic options for the business, including finding a partner.
"In all these cases we certainly have to look at these things but we have not come to any conclusion on this,"he said.
"At first glance my reaction would be limited because first of all we are not in the retail business - and a big part of Numico is in the retail business - and we don't want to be in the retail business, definitely not," he added.
"The second issue is of course regulatory authority. You know very well that in some parts there are very strong competitors. Therefore I cannot see how this is something which will go above being a theoretical interest."
Nestle is building up a specialised nutrition business for infants, the elderly, athletes and people in hospitals and nursing homes.