Anglo-Dutch consumer products group Unilever has announced that it plans to sell its French frozen food unit Frigedoc to Toupargel for €80m (US$84m) as part of its restructuring programme.

Unilever said that under its brand name “Agrigel”, Frigedoc is France’s leading mobile home-vending business, selling frozen products directly to consumers in their homes. It had a turnover of €242m in 2002. Frigedoc’s proposed merger with Toupargel, which specialises in home-vending of fresh and frozen products, would create a clear leader in home sales of food products, Unilever said.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the French competition authorities and consultation with works councils.

The divestment was part of Unilever’s reorganisation plan, launched in February 2000, to cut its brand portfolio to 400 from 1,600, and to boost sales growth to 5.8% and margins to 16-17% by 2004, reported Reuters.