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Unilever Sells Ragu and Chicken Tonight Brands to Symington’s

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Unilever Sells Ragu and Chicken Tonight Brands to Symington’s

Unilever Sells Ragu and Chicken Tonight Brands to Symington’s
August 12
11:02 2011

Unilever has sold its Ragu and Chicken Tonight sauce brands in theUKandIrelandto Symington’s, the Leeds-based convenience food company. Although the price of the deal was undisclosed, it is throught to have fallen short of the £30m to £40m originally anticipated by Unilever when it offered the business for sale last year following a strategic review.

 

The two brands have combined annual sales of about £20m in theUKandIreland. Unilever is retaining the two brands in markets other than theUKandIrelandbut will continue to manufacture products for these regions at its factory atOssin theNetherlandsfor at least three years. Symington’s has no wet sauces manufacturing capacity.

 

“It suits us because it gives us time to focus our resources on rejuvenating the brands,” says David Salkeld, chief executive of Symington’s. “We think these brands will benefit from some tender loving care, new product development, labelling, packaging, marketing and brand support. With a little bit of love and care we can bring these brands back to life and back to growth.”

 

The acquisition will increase Symington’s annual turnover to about £150m and strengthen its brands portfolio, which also includes Ainsley Harriott and Golden Wonder The Nation’s Noodle. Symington’s has more than doubled sales since management bought into the business alongside Bridgepoint Development Capital in September 2007.

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