Unilever has agreed to sell its North America frozen meals business to ConAgra Foods for a total cash consideration of $265 million (Eur216 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 PF 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 PF Chang’s. It does not include Unilever’s facility in Owensboro in Kentucky, at which the Bertolli and PF 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.
Unilever’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 PF Chang’s brands had turnover of approximately $300 million. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012.