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Nestle sees acquisition opportunity in Poland

  Nestle, the world’s biggest food maker, is seeking acquisition targets in Poland to boost production in the European Union’s largest ex-communist economy, the head of its Polish operations said on Wednesday.

The Switzerland-based company expects more manufacturing capacity in Poland, where its 2008 sales reached PLN 3.1 billion ($830 million), would help reduce the effect of the weaker local currency that boosts costs of imports.

“In every difficult time, there is an opportunity,” Leszek Wencel, chief executive of Nestle’s Polish unit, told a news conference. “Poland is on top of the possible acquisition list,” he said, without elaborating.

Nestle has no plans to cut any of its 4,900 workers at eight factories in Poland, which make products under such local brands as Winiary and Princessa.

The retreating zloty, which jhas shed a third against the euro, will help the company boost earnings from Polish exports -- about 10% of culinary products and a third of sweets. (Reuters)