Swiss food giant Nestle SA has agreed to buy out the remaining minority stake of Israel's largest listed food-maker, Osem, for about US$840M, it was reported on 4 March.

Nestle already owns 63.7% of the company, which makes products including pasta, salad dressings, ice cream, Cheerios breakfast cereal and a peanut butter-flavoured snack called Bamba.

The deal would be Nestle’s biggest food acquisition since 2012, according to Bloomberg. On completion, Osem would become a private company fully owned by Nestle.

Analysts quoted by Reuters said the timing was right for the deal as Osem had been trading at historically low multiples, while Nestle typically sought to hold 100% of firms that it owned.

Any analyst in the Reuters report said Israel's food market was not growing fast, the issue of pricing was very sensitive and regulation had become more difficult.

Osem is Israel's third-largest food maker by sales, competing with market leader Tnuva and Strauss Group, the report said. Tnuva was bought by China’s Bright Food last year for US$1.1bn.