European convenience food group Uniq has announced the unconditional sale of its Belgian salad business, Uniq Belgium NV, to Gilde, the Benelus investment group, for a total of EUR60m (US$77.02m).

Turnhout-based Uniq Belgium produces salad products for the Belgian market, with an EBIT of EUR6.2 in the year to 31 March 2006 and gross assets of EUR58m. Following completion, the company will operate under the new name of Hamal Signature NV. 

The total consideration, less an estimated balance sheet adjustment of EUR2.6m, is payable in cash. Net proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce the group’s borrowings.

Uniq said the sale was in-line with its strategy to focus on convenience food businesses with the most potential for significant profit improvement and shareholder value creation. Geoff Eaton, group chief executive, said: “This is another step in our plans to unlock the potential of Uniq by focusing on those businesses which we believe have the highest potential for improvement in profit and value for shareholders.”