Unilever Sells Slim-Fast Brand; Remains Focused on Core Business - Analyst Blog


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Consumer products giant Unilever Plc ( UL ) recently completed the sale of its Slim-Fast brand to a middle market private equity firm - Kainos Capital. The divestiture includes the sale of the Slim-Fast trademark and the global Slim-Fast business portfolio. However, Unilever will retain a minority stake in the business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition of the Slim-Fast brand will be a strategic fit for Kainos Capital, which seeks to build a diversified portfolio of growing and strategically relevant food and consumer businesses. Slim-Fast's product line includes shakes, bars, snacks, packaged meals, and other dietary supplement foods sold in the U.S., UK, Ireland, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland and Latin America. The brand promotes diets and weight loss plans featuring its dietary supplement food products.

This was the last divestiture planned for North America and shows its commitment to focus on its core portfolio to deliver sustainable growth. Unilever's core businesses comprise detergents, foods, toiletries, and specialty chemicals.

Of late, Unilever has been diversifying its brands to concentrate on its core portfolio. On May 22, the company completed the sale of its Ragu and Bertolli pasta sauces brands for $2.15 billion. (Read: Unilever Continues to Focus on Core Business ).

In February, the company sold its meat snacks business to Berlin-based Jack Link's Meat Snacks for an undisclosed amount. Prior to that, in January, Unilever sold its Royal pasta brand to RFM Corporation, one of the biggest diversified food and beverage companies in the Philippines. In Dec 2013, Unilever sold its Soft & Beautiful, TCB and Pro-Line Comb-Thru brands in the hair care category to an international hair care company - Strength of Nature for an undisclosed amount. The sale however excludes TCB's business in Africa.

In early Oct 2013, Unilever sold its Wish-Bone salad dressing business to food company Pinnacle Foods Inc. ( PF ) for $575 million, while in August, ConAgra Foods Inc. ( CAG ) bought its Bertolli and P.F. Chang's frozen meals brands for $265 million. In Jan 2013, the company sold its Skippy peanut butter business to Austin, MN-based producer of branded food and meat, Hormel Foods Corporation ( HRL ) for $700 million in cash.

Unilever currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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UNILEVER PLC (UL): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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