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Nestlé sells UK ice-cream


Britain's second-biggest ice cream maker, Richmond Foods Plc said on Tuesday it was buying the UK ice cream business of Swiss-based Nestle SA for an initial 4.5 million pounds (7.3 million euros) and up to 5.7 million (9.2 million euros) on completion, Reuters reports. The news topped its share price up 6.3 per cent to 185 pence at 1242 GMT. The purchase of the loss-making business will add major Nestle ice cream brands - such as Rolo, Lyons Maid, Fab and After Eight - to Richmond's portfolio. When Richmond announced it was in talks to buy the business last month, it said that the deal might create job losses among Nestle's 230 employees at its manufacturing plant in Telford, central England and its sales office in York, northern England. On Tuesday Richmond said it did not have any further news about possible job cuts. "We are currently in consultations with Nestle about this matter," Richmond's Chief Executive James Lambert told Reuters. "Obviously with the acquisition of a loss-making business there will have to be changes but nothing has been decided as yet." In a statement he said Richmond planned to improve the business, enhancing its own position and increasing value for shareholders. Nestle is the world's second-largest ice cream producer after Unilever whose Bird Eye Walls has a two-thirds market share. Richmond - which bought Associated British Foods' ice cream business last year and also owns the Treats brand - is slowly building up its ice cream business.

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