Unilever Cote d'Ivoire to dispose of palm-oil interests

Unilever Cote d'Ivoire set to dispose of palm-oil interests and increase stake in regional soap business

Unilever announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its edible oil business in Côte d'Ivoire together with its interests in local oil palm plantations, Palmci and PHCI. At the same time it plans to acquire the soap business of Cosmivoire, an Ivorian producer with a market presence throughout Francophone West Africa. Cosmivoire is a subsidiary of SIFCA, an Ivorian agro-industry company. The acquisition will strengthen Unilever’s consumer business position both in the sub-region and in Côte d'Ivoire.

The deal, which is still subject to approval by the regional authorities, is expected to be completed by the end of 2008.

The plantations interests and the edible oils business will be sold to SIFCA and to a 50:50 joint venture company between SIFCA and two Singapore-based companies, Wilmar International Limited and Olam International Limited.

Wilmar is the world’s largest palm-oil processor and OLAM is a leading global supply chain manager of agricultural products with extensive operations across Africa. Their experience and expertise will greatly increase the competitiveness of the palm oil industry in Côte d'Ivoire.

This deal is in line with Unilever’s on-going strategy of increasing its focus on core business areas.

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