The business that makes the Isostar energy drink and Gerble and Cereal health food brands was previously up for sale in 2002, along with other food activities held by Novartis at the time, as part of the group's strategy to focus on pharmaceuticals.
But after divesting the mainstream food and beverage business including the Ovaltine drink to Associated British Foods, the company said it would delay the planned sale of its health food and slimming and sports nutrition businesses due to a lack of attractive offers.
The businesses were then reorganised into a stand-alone unit called 'Nutrition et Sante'.
Credit Agricole Private Equity is currently considering buying the unit which is valued at €250-300 million, according to the article.
A spokesman at Novartis told NutraIngredients.com that the firm would not comment on speculation but added: "I think you have to note that we've been saying for a long time that this is not a core part of our operations."
The company declined to reveal sales figures for the Nutrition et Sante business.