Unilever (NYSE: UN, UL) announced that the sale of its North American seafood business to Nippon Suisan (USA), Inc, a subsidiary of Nippon Suisan Kaisha Limited for US$175 million in cash has been completed.

In August 2001, Unilever signed a definitive agreement to sell the business, which comprises the Gorton’s business in the United States and the BlueWater Seafoods business in Canada to Nippon Suisan.

Unilever’s decision to sell Gorton’s and BlueWater is part of its Path to Growth strategy that focuses on a number of leading brands in defined core categories of Foods and Home and Personal Care.

UNILEVER BACKGROUND: Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer products companies with annual sales of approximately $46 billion in 2001. It produces and markets a wide range of foods and home and personal care products. Unilever products are on sale in 150 countries around the globe and employs approximately 295,000 people.

In the United States, Unilever sales were approximately $11 billion in 2000. It employs 28,000 people and has 80 offices and manufacturing sites in 26 states.

In the U.S. the business comprises: Unilever Bestfoods – North America: Lipton, Hellmann’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Slim-Fast, Ragu, Country Crock, Skippy, Good Humor, Breyers, Wish-Bone, Lawry’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! and Bertolli. Unilever Home and Personal Care – North America: Dove, Suave, Wisk, “all”, Surf, Snuggle, Sunlight, Lever 2000, Caress, Degree, Pond’s, Vaseline, Q-tips, Mentadent, Finesse, Salon Selectives, ThermaSilk and Calvin Klein, Nautica and Lagerfeld cosmetic and fragrance products.

In Canada, Unilever sales were in excess of C$1.5 billion in 2000. It employs approximately 3300 people and has 33 offices and manufacturing sites in 7 Provinces. Unilever is best known in Canada by brands such as becel margarine, Imperial margarine, Lipton, Red Rose Tea, Ragu, Skippy, Hellmann’s, Knorr, Breyer’s, Popsicle, Bertolli Olive Oil, Sunlight Laundry Detergent, Sunlight Dish Liquid, Vaseline, Q-Tips, Dove, Thermasilk, Salon Selectives and Degree.