US-based agribusiness and food company Bunge has announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hindustan Lever to acquire the Indian consumer goods firm’s edible oils and fats businesses based in Bangalore, India.

Hindustan Lever, which is a 51% owned subsidiary of the Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever, is a market leader in India with its branded hydrogenated vegetable fats marketed under the brand name Dalda and its bakery fats marketed under the Masterline brand name.

Hindustan Lever’s 2002 sales of edible oils and fats were approximately US$79.9m. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the execution of definitive documents, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2003.