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Unilever Sells Ragu for $2.15 Billion as Restructuring Gets Cooking


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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Unilever agreed to sell its Ragu and Bertolli pasta sauce businesses to Japanese condiments maker Mizkan Group for $2.15 billion as part of its restructuring to focus more on beauty and health products.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Unilever (UN) cooked up a deal to sell its Ragu and Bertolli pasta sauce businesses to Japanese condiments maker Mizkan Group for more than $2.1 billion in cash.

Mizkan will obtain two factories in Kentucky and a tomato processing plant in California.  The acquisition expands its product portfolio, which includes rice vinegar as a large focus.

Unilever called the sale one of the final steps in restructuring its business in North America as it focuses more on beauty and health products. The company sold its Skippy peanut butter brand to Hormel Foods (HRL) earlier this year and Wishbone salad dressings business to Pinnacle Foods (PF) last year. According to Unilever, the Ragu and Bertolli business leads the pasta sauce category in the U.S. with combined annual sales of $600 million.

Unilever said the deal will close in June.  It is still subject to regulatory approval.

In New York, I'm Brittany Umar reporting for TheStreet.

-- Written by Brittany Umar in New York.

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