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.
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