12:58 PM, Dec 15, 2017 — Unilever (UN) is selling its group of spreads including Becel margarine and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter to KKR (KKR) for 6.83 billion euros ($8 billion) as part of the plan by the global consumer goods giant to reshape its portfolio of brands.
KKR, a New York-based acquisitions and buyout firm, made the offer on a cash-free, debt-free basis, the companies said in a statement on Friday. Unilever said in April it was planning to offload the spreads business after undertaking a review of the firm.
“The announcement today marks a further step in reshaping and sharpening our portfolio for long term growth,” said Unilever Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman. “The consideration recognizes the market leading brands and the improved momentum we have achieved.”
KKR plans to continue following Unilever’s sourcing practices, including “working towards the goal of sourcing 100% sustainable palm oil by 2019,” said Johannes Huth, the company’s head of Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The deal is expected to be completed in mid 2018 and Unilever plans to return net cash to shareholders, “unless more value-creating acquisition alternatives arise,” the company said.
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