Unilever announced Dec. 15 that’d that they received a binding offer for our global Spreads business from KKR for €6.825 billion.
Locally, Unilever employs about 300 people at New Century AirCentury. According to a local spokesperson, the change is viewed as positive with no expected change for employees.
The offer recognizes the strength of the Spreads brands, the recent positive momentum in the business and the opportunities for future growth, according to Unilever’s press release.
The sale of the business also marks a further step in a journey to reshape and sharpen our business portfolio to accelerate growth.
Ever since the Netherlands-based Margarine Unie merged with the UK’s Lever Bros in September 1929, the spreads brands have been an integral part of the Unilever business. “We are enormously proud of their legacy and are in no doubt that they will thrive under new ownership,” Paul Polman, CEO announced in a press release.”
We are also confident that KKR – a leading global investment firm – acknowledges its responsibility to respect the ground-breaking work that the Spreads business has achieved in developing its increasingly successful plant-based foods strategy,” Polman continued. KKR will continue to follow Unilever’s responsible sourcing policies including working towards the goal of sourcing 100 per cent sustainable palm oil by 2019.
Following this offer, the regulatory and consultation processes will start, enabling the planning for the transfer of ownership to take place over the next several months with completion expected mid-2018, so there will be no immediate change. Further information will be dispersed from local leadership teams during the coming weeks.
“This is a great achievement and testament to the spirit, dedication and expertise of our people,” Polman continued.
About Unilever Spreads
Unilever’s Spreads business includes brands such as Becel, Flora, Country Crock, Blue Band, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Rama and ProActiv. It operates across 66 countries around the world. In 2016 the business had a turnover of €3,032 million, EBITDA (before any carveout adjustments under new ownership) of €680 million, and assets of €1,108 million.
This announcement, excludes the South Africa Spreads business. As previously announced, Unilever will acquire Remgro’s 25.75 percent shareholding in Unilever South Africa Holdings (Pty) Ltd (Unilever SA) in exchange for the Unilever Spreads business in Southern Africa as well as a cash consideration.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and, through its strategic manager partnerships, hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation with KKR portfolio companies. KKR invests its own capital alongside its partners’ capital and provides financing solutions and investment opportunities through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.