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Unilever PLC (ULVR)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Tuesday 29 August, 2006

Unilever PLC

Unilever sale of Frozen Food

Unilever PLC
28 August 2006

                              FROZEN FOOD BUSINESS

Unilever today announced that it had reached an agreement to sell the majority
of its European Frozen Foods business to the Permira Funds for €1.725bn. The
deal, which is subject to regulatory approval and a consultative process with
the relevant employee works councils, is expected to be completed before the end
of the year.

The Unilever businesses being sold in this transaction include the Frozen Foods
operations in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal
and United Kingdom. The decision to sell the businesses followed a thorough
study into the strategic options for the future of the Frozen Foods business.

Patrick Cescau, Group Chief Executive, said: 'The Frozen Foods business has been
great for Unilever over many decades with tremendous products, iconic brands and
memorable advertising delivering value for our shareholders. Having taken the
decision to focus our portfolio on other priorities, I am confident that the
business will prosper under the dedicated and focused management that the
Permira Funds will bring.'

Cheryl Potter, Partner at Permira, commented, 'We are delighted the Permira
Funds are acquiring such iconic brands and look forward to supporting their
growth going forward. The market sees few food deals of this size and very
rarely involving brands of this stature. '

Further information:

  • Turnover in 2005 was €1,237m and EBITDA of €174m on an on-going,
    fully-allocated cost basis
  • The transaction represents multiples of 1.4 X annual sales and 9.9 X
  • The sale is expected to result in a one-off profit, after tax, in excess
    of €1bn
  • As part of normal consultation processes there will be discussions with
    the relevant employee works councils and Trade Unions
  • Unilever remains firmly committed to sustainability programmes and
    activities in all areas of its business, and will work with the Permira
    Funds to transfer knowledge and best practice in this area.
  • The sale includes the total frozen food portfolio under the Iglo and
    Bird's Eye brands in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, France,
    Germany Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal and United Kingdom
  • Unilever will retain its Frozen Food business under the brand name Findus
    in Italy
  • The sale of our Portuguese business is subject to the agreement of the JV
    partner in Portugal
  • The Frozen Food business in Spain is not included in the sale having
    previously been sold to Bonduelle two months ago
  • Ice cream is not included in the sale
  • Bertolli/Knorr Frozen in North America is not included in the sale


Tim Johns

Vice-President, Global Media Relations          +44 20 7822 6805


Tanno Massar

Director, European Media Relations          +31 10 217 4844


Helen Lo

Head of Communications               +44 1932 263326

August 28, 2006

About Unilever

Unilever's mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for
nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good,
look good and get more out of life.

Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods
with strong local roots in more than 100 countries across the globe. Its
portfolio includes some of the world's best known and most loved brands
including twelve €1 billion brands and global leadership in many categories in
which the company operates. The portfolio features brand icons such as Knorr,
Hellmann's, Flora, Bertolli, Dove, Lux, Pond's, Lynx, Persil, Domestos, and

Unilever has around 206,000 employees in approaching 100 countries and generated
annual sales of €40 billion in 2005. For more information about Unilever and its
brands, please visit

SAFE HARBOUR STATEMENT: This announcement/document (adjust as applicable) may
contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements'
within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
of 1995. Words such as 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends' or the negative of
these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results and
their negatives are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These
forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions
regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They
are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance. Because
these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are
important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from
those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including, among
others, competitive pricing and activities, consumption levels, costs, the
ability to maintain and manage key customer relationships and supply chain
sources, currency values, interest rates, the ability to integrate acquisitions
and complete planned divestitures, physical risks, environmental risks, the
ability to manage regulatory, tax and legal matters and resolve pending matters
within current estimates, legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments,
political, economic and social conditions in the geographic markets where the
Group operates and new or changed priorities of the Boards. Further details of
potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the
Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US
Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report & Accounts on
Form 20-F. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this
announcement/document (adjust as applicable). Except as required by any
applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or
undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking
statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations
with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on
which any such statement is based.

                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange                   MF                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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