Unilever has sold the rest of its Bertolli business to Dutch food group Enrico-Glasbest, which will become the new owner of assets including the rights to pasta sauce and pesto products in Europe.

The deal, struck for an undisclosed sum, also takes in the worldwide rights to mayonnaise products sold under the Bertolli brand.

In 2008, Unilever sold its Bertolli olive-oil business to Spain’s Deoleo. Six years later, Japan’s Mizkan Group bought the US rights to the Bertolli brand. In 2017, Netherlands-based Upfield acquired Unilever’s Bertolli margarine business as part of its acquisition of the FMCG giant’s spreads arm.

A Unilever spokesperson said: “As other parts of the Bertolli licence were previously divested by Unilever, it was a natural next step for Unilever to sell the remaining part of the Bertolli brand. Enrico-Glasbest’s portfolio of Mediterranean delicacies provides stronger synergies and potential to expand the footprint of the brand.

“Unilever will continue working with Bertolli retail customers and suppliers on a business-as-usual basis under a six-month transitional services agreement. During that period, Unilever will provide further details to retail customers and suppliers and introduce the new owner but, for the TSA period, it is business as usual between Unilever and Bertolli customers and suppliers.”

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By GlobalData

Enrico-Glasbest is a producer and distributor of Mediterranean ambient food, offering branded and private-label products including olives, pesto, sauces and mayonnaise. The company was acquired by Dutch venture-capital firm Victus Participations from local private-equity firm Karmijn Kapitaal in 2019.

Robin Heetkamp, the managing director of Enrico-Glasbest, said: "As a brand, Bertolli fits in seamlessly with the strategy and ambitions of Enrico-Glasbest: the company has shown significant growth in recent years and is ready for this step forward. Entrepreneurship is present at all levels in the organisation and the infrastructure is ready to scale up further."

The deal takes Enrico-Glasbest's turnover to around EUR50m (US$61.5m), the Dutch group said.