Unilever today announced that it has signed an agreement for the sale of its North America pasta sauces business under the Ragù and Bertolli brands to Mizkan Group for a total cash consideration of approximately $2.15 billion. The annual turnover for Ragu and Bertolli is more than $600 million.
The transaction includes two production facilities – a sauce processing and packaging facility in Owensboro, Kentucky, and a tomato processing facility in Stockton, California.
Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, said: “This sale represents one of the final steps in reshaping our portfolio in North America to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, and enables us to sharpen our focus within our foods business.The Ragu and Bertolli business leads the pasta sauce category in the United States, and we believe that the potential of both brands can be fully realized with Mizkan.”
The transaction, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, is expected to close by the end of June.
- Enhance the Company’s focus on its North American branded business through the addition of strong brands with broad recognition and customer loyalty;
- Further expand and strengthen its U.S. operations by leveraging synergies within its existing U.S. business; and
- Develop a balanced global operation, diversifying away from a focus on the Japanese market.
“We are very pleased to welcome Ragú and Bertolli, two of America’s most well-known brands, to the Mizkan family,” said Kazuhide Nakano, Chairman and CEO Mizkan Holdings Co., Ltd. “This transaction represents an important milestone in our global expansion strategy. We are confident that this transaction allows us to further achieve our objectives of diversification and expansion of our international footprint. Mizkan is strongly committed to the long-term growth of Ragú and Bertolli, and we will work to help ensure that both brands continue to grow and prosper. We believe this combination will create more opportunities for our company and our workforce, including Ragú and Bertolli’s talented employees, and create significant value for our global stakeholders.”
The Mizkan Group is a 210-year old privately held international food manufacturer, based in Handa City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The Mizkan Group has a stable of well-known international brands, under the “Mizkan” umbrella brand and is a leader in the liquid condiment category. – See more at: http://www.mizkan.com/Corporate/What-s-New/Mizkan-News/Mizkan-Group-to-Acquire-Ragu-Bertolli.aspx#sthash.9ypPfaSf.dpuf