On Thursday, Unilever announced the sale of its North American Ragu and Bertolli brands to Japan’s Mizkan Group for $2.15 billion, The New York Time’s DealBook reports.
The company first announced it was looking to possibly sell the Ragu and Bertolli brands, along with the Slim-Fast brand, back in April.
“This sale represents one of the final steps in reshaping our portfolio in North America to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, and enables us to sharpen our focus within our foods business,” Kees Kruythoff, the president of Unilever North America, says in a statement. “The Ragu and Bertolli business leads the pasta sauce category in the United States, and we believe that the potential of both brands can be fully realized with Mizkan.”
The transaction includes the sale of a sauce processing and packaging plant in Kentucky and a tomato processing facility in California. However, Unilever retains the rights to sell the pasta and sauce products in Europe.
The deal clears the path for Unilever, a British-Dutch company, to focus on its personal care-products, such as Vaseline. Last year, the company sold its Wish-Bone salad dressing and Skippy peanut butter brands.
Unilever to Sell Ragu and Bertolli Brands [NY Times DealBook]