Unilever today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of its North America frozen meals business to ConAgra Foods, Inc. for a total cash consideration of $265 million. Unilever’s North America frozen meals business consists of a full range of premium, multi-serve frozen entrees and appetizers under the well-known Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s brand names.
The transaction, subject to regulatory review, includes a license for the use of the Bertolli brand name and the transfer of Unilever’s existing license with P.F. Chang’s for use of the P.F. Chang’s Home Menu brand name. It does not include Unilever’s facility in Owensboro, Ky., at which the Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s frozen meals are currently produced. Unilever will retain the Bertolli trademark and continue its existing pasta sauce business, with manufacturing operations remaining at its Kentucky facility.
Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, said: “Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s frozen meals are two attractive businesses with a focus on quality ingredients and differentiated technology. I am confident they will continue to do well under ConAgra Foods’ management.”
The company’s decision to divest its North American frozen meals business is in line with its global strategy to exit the frozen foods business. Unilever previously divested its European frozen foods business.In 2011, the combined Bertolli and P.F. Chang’s brands had turnover of approximately $300 million. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012. SAFE HARBOUR: This announcement 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 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'believes', 'vision', 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.