PARIS (Reuters) – Nestle’s <NESN.S> Purina PetCare division could cut around 200 jobs in France through voluntary departures and it is also exploring options for its Quimperle plant in Brittany, including a sale, said a Nestle France spokesman.
The spokesman made the comments after trade unions at Nestle Purina said the company could sell the Quimperle plant, which employs 123 people, and cut jobs at the Marconnelle, Montfort, Aubigny and Veauche plants in France to cut costs.
Nestle Purina France currently employs 1,800 people.
The Swiss group has come under pressure from hedge fund Third Point, which is run by investor Daniel Loeb, to undertake a bolder and faster overhaul of its business strategy.
Regarding the Quimperle plant, discussions were continuing with a potential external partner, which the unions said was C&D Foods. Trade unions have also made a proposal that would entail keeping the Quimperle plant within the group.
“We are looking for the most sustainable solution for the plant,” said the Nestle France spokesman.
Purina is looking to start discussions with unions in the coming weeks up, until the end of the first half of 2019.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)