Unilever to Exit Spreads Business

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Unilever to Exit Spreads Business


Consumer product giant Unilever said it is strongly exploring the sale of its food spreads brands, which includes popular margarine and butter substitutes Country Crock and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, both of which were merged previously with another segment within Unilever’s foods division. 

“After a long history in Unilever, we have decided that the future of the spreads business now lies outside the group,” said CEO Paul Polman, in a statement released by the company. The potential sale of the spreads business comes as part of an effort to steamline operations and ultimately create shareholder value.

“With the transformation of Unilever, we have built on a portfolio of strong and growing brands delivered to consumers across the world," Polman said. "We will look to increase our strategic flexibility for further portfolio optimisation through a review of the dual-headed legal structure, with a view to simplifying it."     

Chariman Marijn Dekkers also echoed Polman's sentiments that Unilever's aim is all about the shareholder. 

"The review that the (Unilever executive) board has undertaken has been detailed and comprehensive," Dekker said. "[We have] confirmed that our model of long-term shareholder value creation has been successful and remains as valid as ever. The actions we are now going to take are fully supported by the board."

The manufacturer of some of the world's bestknown brands says it will "continue to build them with global and local innovations that add value with technology-driven benefits," and also added that the firm remains very strong with both global scale with 57% of sales in emerging markets, as markets outside the United States are where the comapny's future growth opportunities are greatest.