Sale of Loders Croklaan imminent

Unilever announced today that it will sell its international speciality oils and fats business, Loders Croklaan Group to IOI Corporation Berhad of Malaysia for € 217 million in cash. Discussions between the two firms are sufficiently advanced for official procedures with the Works Council and Trade Unions in the Netherlands to be started.

The sale is part of Unilever’s Path to Growth strategy, which focuses on core activities within Foods and Home and Personal Care.

IOI Corporation is one of the largest listed companies in Malaysia, with interests in plantations, refinery, oleochemicals and property development.

Patrick Cescau, Unilever Foods Director, said: "We are certain that Loders Croklaan's new parent company can further develop the business by adding strength in raw materials and regional presence in Asia. We will continue our business relationship making use of Loders Croklaan's innovation capabilities."

Loders Croklaan is a well respected, self-standing business with a strong innovation record. It has traditionally supplied the confectionery and bakery industries world-wide but also has activities focused on supplying nutritional oils and fats as well as other ingredients in business-to-business markets.

Loders Croklaan has factories in Wormerveer, near Amsterdam, and in Channahon, near Chicago, with smaller plants in Toronto and Cairo and sales offices in a further seven countries. The business employs some 600 people and had sales of € 267 million in 2001. Loders Croklaan will continue to supply Unilever with specialty products.

Unilever is being advised by Deutsche Bank in relation to this transaction.

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