Unilever has signed an agreement for the sale of its North America pasta sauces business under the Ragu and Bertolli brands to Mizkan Group for a total cash consideration of approximately $2.15 billion. The annual turnover for Ragu and Bertolli is more than $600 million.
The transaction includes two production facilities – a sauce processing and packaging facility in Owensboro, Kentucky, and a tomato processing facility in Stockton, California.
Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, said: “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.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, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, is expected to close by the end of June.
Unilever claims to be one of the world’s leading suppliers of food, home and personal care products with sales in over 190 countries. The company generated annual sales of €49.8 billion in 2013. Almost 14 of its brands, Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Surf, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s ice cream, Lux, Flora / Becel, Rama / Blue Band, Magnum and Axe / Lynx, now generate a turnover of over €1 billion.
The Mizkan Group is a 200-year old privately held international food manufacturer, based in Handa City, Japan. It has a stable of well-known international brands, under the “Mizkan” umbrella brand and claims to be a leader in the liquid condiment category. The Mizkan Group has operating facilities around the globe, including Japan, China, the United Kingdom, the United States, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The Mizkan Group has six offices, 17 factories and 2,900 staff in Japan, North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.