Unilever sells off Spreads business

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 18th December 2017

Unilever has sold its Spreads business to international investment firm KKR.

The acquisition price totalled €6.825 billion and includes brands such as Flora, Bertolli, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and Stork.

In April 2017, Unilever announced its plans to sell or demerge its spreads business after conducting a strategic review into its business following a Kraft Heinz acquisition attempt.

Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever, said in April 2017 Unilever set a 2020 programme to accelerate sustainable value creation.

“After a long history in Unilever we decided that the future of the Spreads business would lie outside the Group,” Polman said.

“The announcement today marks a further step in reshaping and sharpening our portfolio for long term growth.

“The consideration recognises the market leading brands and the improved momentum we have achieved. I am confident that under KKR’s ownership, the Spreads business with its iconic brands will be able to fulfil its full potential as well as societal responsibilities.”

Head of KKR EMEA, Johannes Huth, said the strength of the portfolio of consumer brands in Spreads provides a firm foundation for future growth.

“We look forward to deploying our global network and operational expertise to support the business’s growth ambitions, while continuing to follow Unilever’s responsible sourcing policies, including working towards the goal of sourcing 100 per cent sustainable palm oil by 2019.”

The acquisition is still subject to regulatory approvals and employee consultations in certain jurisdictions.


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