Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer products group, looks set to raise more than US$2bn from the sales of its US bakery business and an assortment of European brands.
Famous brands like Oxo, Lesieur and Batchelors Cup-a-Soup are thought to be courting the attention of Campbell Soup, HJ Heinz and Nestlé. Second-round bids for the brands were submitted last week. The sales of the brands were expected following last year’s US$21.3bn acquisition of Bestfoods, the maker of Knorr bouillon and Hellmann’s mayonnaise.
Unilever has already relinquished its European bakery business to CSM of the Netherlands and has to sell the food brands as a part of the approval process by the European Commission for its purchase of Bestfoods.
Unilever is expected to use the proceeds from its disposals to help fund a bid for non-food related products.