Unilever launches ice cream business in Romania
Unilever best-sellers to be available this summer. Napoca to enter Unilever portfolio.
Bucharest, February 24th, 2009 – As part of its growth strategy in South Central Europe, Unilever has announced plans to launch an ice cream business in Romania. For the first time, some of the best-selling global ice cream brands, including Magnum and Carte d'Or, will be widely available throughout the country.
In a related decision, Unilever has agreed to acquire the iconic Romanian ice cream brand Napoca, which was made available by its current owners last year, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is subject to approval from the Romanian Competition Council, a procedure which is expected to be finalised within the next three to four months.
In addition to Magnum and Carte d'Or, the product portfolio will include Cornetto, Vienetta and Big Milk as well as Napoca brands, once the acquisition is completed. Unilever will market its ice cream products under the Algida name, the trademark used in Italy, the country which many Europeans regard as the home of top quality ice cream. Unilever has already been in talks with a number of retailers, and plans to begin deliveries in March.
"Ice cream is an important part of our global business, and we now believe the time is right to develop this business in Romania where the market size is estimated at €160 million," said Alexandra Gatej, Chairman of Unilever South Central Europe. "This is a country that values its ice cream, and I am delighted we will be now able to offer Romanians a range of high quality products at affordable prices for all consumers."
"The increase in the demand for quality products across all parts of the consumer business makes the ice cream segment extremely attractive," added Gatej. "It is an area where we have a great deal of experience and expertise in product innovation as well as product sales, and it will be a valuable addition to our existing businesses. This decision, an important long-term investment for us, underlines our continuing commitment to this region."
The decision to build an ice cream business in Romania is as a natural evolution for the company which began operating in the region in 1995 and now sells a broad range of leading consumer brands in the foods & refreshment, beauty & personal care and household products divisions. The range includes Rama and Becel margarine, Dero and Omo washing products, Lipton tea and Knorr soups.
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