Unilever is to sell two brands in Romania back to their founder.

The FMCG giant has decided to offload the FruFru and Urban Monkey brands five years after acquiring the assets from Mihai Simiuc.

The financial terms of both deals were not disclosed.

Asked why Unilever had opted to sell the brands, a spokesperson for its business in Romania referred Just Food to a statement issued by the company.

“Following a careful strategic review of the company, Unilever has decided to sell the FruFru and Urban Monkey brands to their founder, Mihai Simiuc,” the statement read.

“Mihai Simiuc will develop a new chapter for the Frufru and Urban Monkey brands, further promoting a healthy lifestyle.”

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By GlobalData

Unilever snapped up the brands when it acquired Romanian food company Good People in 2019.

At the time, the Knorr brand owner told Just Food: “Unilever is very excited to partner with and invest in FruFru, a beloved local foods business. The values and mission of FruFru will remain unchanged, and Mihai Simiuc, will continue to lead the business while drawing on Unilever’s experience and expertise.”

At an investor conference last month, Unilever CEO Hein Schumacher said he expected bolt-on acquisitions to serve his premiumisation agenda within an action plan to restore market share.

“I want to take complexity out of the portfolio where we can. But here and there, where there is something really good, then we are keen to fill the gaps on the premium portfolio, and that’s what we are doing,” Schumacher said.

As Schumacher confirmed around 20% of SKUs have been taken out of the portfolio in Europe since he joined Unilever on 1 July, he emphasised premiumisation, impactful innovation and cost savings as key elements to restore volumes and the gross margin to the pre-pandemic levels of circa 44%.