Unilever today announced that it has signed an agreement for the sale of its Wish-Bone and Western dressings brands to Pinnacle Foods Inc. for a total cash consideration of approximately $580 million, subject to regulatory approval.
The transaction does not include Unilever’s facility in Independence, Missouri, at which Wish-Bone and Western brands are currently produced, but the factory will continue to manufacture for Pinnacle Foods under a third-party agreement.
Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, said: “Wish-Bone is an iconic brand and the number-one Italian dressings brand in the US. We believe that the potential of both the Wish-Bone and Western brands can now be more fully realised with Pinnacle Foods. As we continue to shape our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, this change will give us the focus to drive growth behind our core foods portfolio.”
The annual turnover for Wish-Bone and Western is approximately $190 million. The transaction, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, is expected to close later in Q3, or early Q4 2013.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', 'looks', '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 Unilever group (the "Group"). They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; increasing competitive pressures; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; inability to find sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and natural disasters; the debt crisis in Europe; financial risks; failure to meet high product safety and ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext in Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Group's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended 31 December 2012 and Annual Report and Accounts 2012. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.