Unilever in Cote d'Ivoire

Unilever disposes of oils business and plantation interests and acquires regional soap business.

Unilever has completed the sale of 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 has acquired the soap business of Cosmivoire, an Ivorian producer with a market presence throughout Francophone West Africa.

Cosmivoire is a subsidiary of SIFCA, the parent company of an Ivorian agro-industry group. The acquisition strengthens Unilever's consumer business position both in the sub-region and in Côte d'Ivoire.

The plantations interests and the edible oils business have been sold to SIFCA and to a 50:50 joint venture between 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 both in the sub-region and in Côte d'Ivoire.

Diego Bevilacqua, Group Vice President for Africa, Middle East & Turkey, says: "This deal is absolutely in line with Unilever's strategy. It will allow us to focus our future efforts and investments in Francophone West Africa on two of Unilever's core divisions, Skin Cleansing and Laundry. At the same time we are pleased to have been able to bring together partners for whom the palm plantations and oils business constitute the core of their business, and will bring value to those divisions in Cote d'Ivoire."

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