In July, Nestle S.A. announced it had agreed to pay $1.7 billion to acquire a controlling interest in Chinese candy company Hsu Fu Chi International. The proposed deal would be the biggest-ever acquisition in China by a foreign multinational and would help the Vevey, Switzerland-based food giant cement its position in the world’s most important growth market.

If Nestle is able to pull the deal off, it may just have Susan Ning to thank above all.

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