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Unilever signs agreement to sell European frozen foods business


28/08/2006 Unilever today announced that it had reached an agreement to sell the majority of its European Frozen Foods business to the Permira Funds for €1.725bn. The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval and a consultative process with the relevant employee works councils, is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

The Unilever businesses being sold in this transaction include the Frozen Foods operations in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal and United Kingdom. The decision to sell the businesses followed a thorough study into the strategic options for the future of the Frozen Foods business.

Patrick Cescau, Group Chief Executive, said: “The Frozen Foods business has been great for Unilever over many decades with tremendous products, iconic brands and memorable advertising delivering value for our shareholders. Having taken the decision to focus our portfolio on other priorities, I am confident that the business will prosper under the dedicated and focused management that the Permira Funds will bring.”

Cheryl Potter, Partner at Permira, commented, “We are delighted the Permira Funds are acquiring such iconic brands and look forward to supporting their growth going forward. The market sees few food deals of this size and very rarely involving brands of this stature.”


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