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Nestle pays $3.7 billion for Kraft's frozen pizzas

Nestle has snapped up Kraft's frozen pizza business in North America for 3.7 billion dollars, making the Swiss giant the world leader in that market.

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AFP - Food giant Nestle Tuesday announced it was buying Kraft Foods' frozen pizza units in the United States and Canada for 3.7 billion dollars (2.5 billion euros).

"This frozen pizza business greatly enhances Nestle's frozen food activities in North America, bringing together a selection of great US and Canadian brands, industry-leading R&D and excellent route-to-market capabilities, which complement our existing ice cream direct-store-delivery," Nestle chief Paul Bulke said.

"With total sales of around 3 billion (Swiss francs), Nestle will become the world leader in the attractive, fast-growing frozen pizza category," he said.

A Nestle statement said the US is the largest pizza market in the world with consumer sales of about 37 billion dollars.

It said with estimated sales of 2.1 billion dollars in 2009, Kraft Foods was the leader in the frozen pizza category and had enjoyed double-digit growth in the US and Canada over the last four years.

The brands include DiGiorno, Tombstone and California Pizza Kitchen.

"Selling this business now not only delivers an attractive return for our shareholders, but enables us to better focus our resources on priority global brands and categories," said Kraft chief executive officer Irene Rosenfeld.

"Nestle is well-positioned to continue building these powerhouse pizza brands, given its strength in frozen foods," Rosenfeld said.

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