London/Zurich — Nestlé put its skin health unit up for sale on Thursday, as the maker of Nescafe and Perrier water ditches underperforming businesses and fends off criticism from an activist investor demanding an overhaul. It said it was exploring strategic options for the unit, saying "the future growth opportunities of Nestlé Skin Health lie increasingly outside the group’s strategic scope" and did not fit in with a sharper focus on food, drinks and nutritional health. Nestlé agreed this week to sell its Gerber Life Insurance business for $1.55bn. The skin health unit makes Cetaphil and Proactiv brands, Restylane wrinkle fillers and prescription dermatology treatments. It had sales of Sf2.7bn ($2.8bn) in 2017, accounting for about 3% of Nestle’s total. Vontobel analyst Jean-Philippe Bertschy estimated the business was worth Sf6bn to Sf6.5bn, excluding financial debt, provisions and deferred taxes. He said it could fetch between Sf6bn and Sf8bn in a sale. Another analyst put the sa...

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