Unilever disposes Bertolli Olive Oil to Grupo SOS

Unilever today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement for the disposal of its Bertolli olive oil and vinegar business with Grupo SOS for a consideration of €630m

The transaction is structured as a worldwide, perpetual licence by Unilever of the Bertolli brand in respect of olive oil and premium vinegar.

The transaction includes the sale of the Italian Maya, Dante, and San Giorgio olive oil and seed oil businesses, as well as the factory at Inveruno, Italy

Unilever will retain the Bertolli brand for all other divisions including margarine, pasta sauces, and frozen meals. The Bertolli brand remains a priority for Unilever with strong growth plans based on capturing the growing appetite for Mediterranean food products

Vindi Banga, Unilever President for Foods & Refreshment, Home and Beauty & Personal Care, said: “Bertolli is a brand leader in olive oils in Europe, the US and Australia, and we believe that Grupo SOS, with their deep expertise in this category, will further strengthen the business. We look forward to working with Grupo SOS to continue to build the Bertolli brand and to create further value.”

Jesus Salazar, Grupo SOS Chairman, said: "With Bertolli, we inherit the great job done by Unilever in olive oil. This transaction is absolutely strategic to Grupo SOS and it reinforces us as worldwide leaders in olive oil. We share our focus on the Mediterranean diet with Unilever, and benefits will accrue to both our groups and to the consumer".

The combined turnover of Bertolli olive oil and vinegar and the Maya, Dante and San Giorgio businesses was around €380m in 2007.

The transaction is part of Unilever’s announced plans to dispose of non-strategic brands with collectively more than €2 billion in turnover.

The agreement, which is subject to the relevant regulatory approvals, is expected to close during 2008.

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