Unilever To Offload Its Spreads Business
Unilever is planning to offload its spreads business, which includes such brands as Flora margarine and Stork butter.
According to Bloomberg, Unilever Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman has announced this overhaul in order to protect the consumer goods giant after a failed takeover bid from Kraft Heinz.
The company is also looking to combine its food and refreshments operation and may forego its dual nationality in the UK and the Netherlands in favour of headquartering itself solely in the latter.
“Restructuring and change is just a fact of life in our industry,” Chief Financial Officer Graeme Pitkethly said on a call to Bloomberg reporters, after Unilever undertook a strategic review in response to Kraft Heinz’s actions.
The company is also planning to reduce its advertising spend and to buy back €5 billion ($5.3 billion) of stock.
The spreads business, which also includes I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! and Country Crock, will be sold or spun off, although Pitkethly says Unilever has had “lots and lots” of approaches for the unit and is confident in the possibility of a sale.
The spreads business is estimated to be worth about €7.5 billion.
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