Unilver has agreed to sell its Turkish industrial bakery and oils business, Unipro, to speciality fats group AAK.
Unipro’s bakery and oils business consists of a number of sub-brands available in Turkey but the deal does not include Unilever‘s facility in Çorlu at which the Unipro brand is produced. The factory will continue to manufacture for AAK under a third-party agreement, Unilever said.
“In order for Unilever to continue to deliver sustainable growth, we will continually review and sharpen our portfolio,” Izzet Karaca, Unilever Turkey executive vice president, said.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, is subject to regulatory approval. Unipro generated a turnover of EUR75m (US$99.6m) in 2012 and the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.
AAK president and CEO Arne Frank said the deal would expand the business in “strategically important” areas. “This acquisition will serve as a platform for increased AAK sales of semi-speciality and speciality products in Turkey and the Middle East,” Frank said.
The disposal is in line with Unilever’s ongoing global strategy to exit non-core business. Speaking during a conference call on Unilever’s first-half results yesterday (24 July), CEO Paul Polman emphasised the need to focus on “fewer bigger brands”.
“We have disposed of many of our businesses around the peripheries. As a result our sales are now concentrated on fewer bigger brands… nearly two-thirds of our turnover is now in our four billion-euro food brands as a result of the aggressive divestiture of non-strategic assets,” he said.
The chief executive suggested Unilever would continue to clean up its food portfolio by selling-off non-strategic assets and rationalising the number of SKUs it carries.
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