Broad Street Licensing Group Food News

Will Unilever Exit the Food Business Entirely?

Kraft’s split into two companies has been accompanied by reports that Unilever plans to sell off all its food divisions (except for ice cream & beverages) for up to €14bn ($19.8bn).[1]

Already they sold their P.F. Chang’s and Bertolli frozen foods unit to ConAgra (covered by us here some time ago).

The cash from any such sale would be used to acquire a target in the personal care or home products categories, with possible targets Beiersdorf[2], Clorox or Colgate.

Unilever already sold off its Italian frozen foods brand Findus to a company partly-owned by Birds Eye Iglo, and its Brazilian consumer tomato division to Cargill. It acquired Sara Lee’s Personal Care division in December, 2010 (for €1.275bn), and in May of 2011 bought beauty & personal care iconic brand Alberto Culver. Rising commodity prices in food have impacted Unilever more than other CPG houses, especially in Europe, where price increases for its products have been higher than other companies. Ironically, Unilever bought up Best Foods in 2000.

 


[1] Source: investment bank Liberum Capital.

[2] German-based skin care giant Beiersdorf owns numerous brands, including Eucerin, and Nivea.

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