More reports on: Foods / beverages

Unilever to sell margarine and spreads business to PE giant KKR

16 December 2017

Unilever has agreed to sell its margarine and spreads business, including Flora and ProActiv, to private equity giant KKR for 6.8 billion, ($8 billion).

The move comes after the company conducted a wide-ranging review of its business which was prompted by a takeover attempt by rival Kraft.

According to Unilever it would look for a buyer of the spreads business in April.

It added, it would at the time, step up its cost-cutting, aiming for a 20 per cent margin by 2020.

It added the margarine business was a "declining segment" that could be "better managed by others".

Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever, said, "The announcement today marks a further step in reshaping and sharpening our portfolio for long term growth, BBC reported.

"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."

Some of the company's other popular products include Persil, Domestos and Hellman's mayonnaise.

Unilever operates across over 190 countries.

The deal, which is expected to be completed in the middle of next year, is subject to regulator approval in certain jurisdictions.

Even as sales started to sag for its large stable of margarine brands - including Country Crock, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and Imperial, the company set a hefty asking price of $8 billion, which was met by KKR, a source close to the situation said,  New York Post reported.

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