Unilever to Combine Foods and Refreshment Units and to Quit Spreads
Following a review of its operating model, Unilever has decided to combine its Foods and Refreshment divisions into one organisation. It has also decided to dispose of its Spreads business, which incorporates the Flora, Stork and I Can’t Believe it’s So Good brands.
The integrated Foods & Refreshment unit will be located in the Netherlands, which is the centre of for Unilever’s European Foods business and where it has established a world-class research and development facility. The organisation and cost structure for this new unit will be re-designed to reflect the large scale it enjoys in developed markets, while sustaining faster growth in emerging markets.
Unilever operates across four categories, with Personal Care and Home Care being the other two business areas.
Unilever set up a separate Baking, Cooking and Spreads unit in 2015 to allow greater focus on the issues facing the business. “The unit has responded well to this focus, reducing costs, increasing cash generation and holding market share. However, the underlying category remains challenged in developed markets and we have now taken the decision to launch a process to either sell or demerge Spreads,” explains Paul Polman, chief executive of Unilever.
The moves follow the rejection of a recent takeover bid by Kraft Heinz Company which valued Unilever at $143 billion (£115 billion).