Following the approval of the European Commission, Unilever today completed the sale of several of its dry soups and sauces businesses in Europe to Campbell Soup Company for a debt free price of E 1 billion. The agreement to sell these businesses, as a result of undertakings given to the European Commission in connection with Unilever's acquisition of Bestfoods last year, was announced on January 29.

Included in the transaction were three instant dry soups brands -- "Batchelors" in the U.K, "Royco" in France and Belgium and "Heisse Tasse" in Germany; together with the "McDonnells" brand in Ireland, "Oxo" in the U.K. and Ireland, the "Bla Band'' brand in Nordic and additional brands in Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal. Also included was the "Lesieur" range of mayonnaise products in France. Annual sales of the businesses total approximately E 435 million.

The combined businesses have manufacturing sites in the United Kingdom (2), the Netherlands, Ireland, France and Sweden and have approximately 1,300 employees in total. Net tangible assets are approximately E 100 million.

UNILEVER BACKGROUND: Unilever is one of the world's largest consumer products companies with annual sales of approximately $46 billion in 2000. It produces and markets a wide range of foods and home and personal care products. Unilever operates in 88 countries around the globe and employs approximately 300,000 people.

In the United States, Unilever sales were approximately $11 billion in 2000. It employs some 28,000 people and has 80 offices and manufacturing sites in 26 states. Some of their major products are: Unilever Bestfoods -North America: Lipton teas, soups, recipe products and side dishes; Wish-Bone salad dressings; Lawry's seasonings and specialty sauces; Imperial, Promise, Country Crock, "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!", Brummel & Brown spreads and sprays; Ragu and Five Brothers pasta sauces; Knorr soups, sauces and bouillons; Hellmann's mayonnaise and dressings; Skippy peanut butter; Bertolli Olive Oil; Klondike, Good-Humor, Popsicle, Breyers and Ben & Jerry's ice cream products; Gorton's frozen seafood products and Slim-Fast nutritional and health snack products. Unilever Home and Personal Care - North America: Wisk, "all" and Surf laundry detergents; Snuggle fabric softener; Sunlight dish detergents; Lever 2000, Caress, Dove, Degree, Pond's and Vaseline skin care, deodorant and soap products; Q-tips cotton swabs and cotton balls; Mentadent oral care products; Finesse, Salon Selectives, Suave and ThermaSilk hair care products; and Calvin Klein, Nautica and Lagerfeld cosmetic and fragrance products. In addition, DiverseyLever, a global professional cleaning business, operates in North America, supplying professional cleaning materials and services to institutional and industrial markets.