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Unilever acquires The Vegetarian Butcher

Unilever is acquiring The Vegetarian Butcher. The acquisition fits with Unilever’s strategy to expand its portfolio into plant-based foods that are healthier and have a lower environmental impact. With this acquisition, Unilever is responding to the growing trend among consumers to increasingly opt for vegetarian and vegan meals. For The Vegetarian Butcher, the acquisition is the next step in its ambition to grow into ‘the largest butcher in the world’. Founder Jaap Korteweg: “Unilever’s international network across 190 countries, provides every opportunity to accomplish this.”

Sfeerbeeld boterhamworst

Jaap Korteweg, a ninth-generation meat farmer and a real meat lover, became a vegetarian and founded The Vegetarian Butcher in 2007 to satiate his own need for quality ‘meat’, which was not produced from animals. The products made by The Vegetarian Butcher are being sold in over 4,000 outlets in 17 countries. According to Korteweg, the acquisition has come at the right time. “We want to take the next step - conquer the world. It is our mission to make plant-based ‘meat’ the standard. We believe that with Unilever’s international network, this acquisition will help to accelerate our mission.”

Unilever and The Vegetarian Butcher started working together in 2016 when they jointly launched the ‘Vegetarian Meatballs in Satay Sauce’ and ‘Vegetarian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce’, which were marketed under the Unox brand.

The acquisition, which was announced today, is a step on Unilever’s journey towards a portfolio with more plant-based products. Currently, Unilever is selling nearly 700 products with V-label in Europe. In the Netherlands, these include products from Unox, Knorr, Hellmann’s, Conimex and Ben & Jerry’s brands.

Nitin Paranjpe, President Foods & Refreshment Unilever: “The Vegetarian Butcher is a brand with a clear mission, many loyal ambassadors, a good following on social media and a strong position in the market. The brand will fit in well within our portfolio of ‘brands with purpose’, which have a positive social impact, are better positioned to meet the needs of consumers and are growing faster. Importantly, this acquisition will help us to accelerate our journey towards more plant-based food.”

The Vegetarian Butcher employs approximately 90 people, who are expected to remain with the business under Unilever ownership.

The acquisition is being made for an undisclosed consideration and is expected to be completed before the end of 2018.

About The Vegetarian Butcher

The Vegetarian Butcher aims to become the largest butcher in the world with plant-based meat, which should be able to compete with animal meat in respect of taste, structure, perception and nutritional value. Founder Jaap Korteweg twice received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award and finished in the top five of the Sustainable 100 of Dutch newspaper Trouw for the past three years. More information on The Vegetarian Butcher can be found on www.thevegetarianbutcher.com

Unilever PLC

Unilever House
100 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0DY
United Kingdom


Press-Office.London@Unilever.com

Unilever NV

Weena 455
3013AL Rotterdam

www.unilever.nl

+31 (0) 10 217 4000
mediarelations.rotterdam@Unilever.com

Fleur van Bruggen (NL)

+31 615 008293
fleur-van.bruggen@unilever.com

The Vegetarian Butcher

+31 (0)30 2660417

pr@devegetarischeslager.nl

Safe Harbour

Where relevant, these actions are subject to the appropriate consultations and approvals.

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'will', 'aim', 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends', 'looks', 'believes', 'vision', or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Unilever Group (the 'Group'). They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.

Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; Unilever's ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; inability to find sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; the effect of climate change on Unilever's business; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and natural disasters; financial risks; failure to meet high and ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Annual Report on Form 20-F 2017 and the Unilever Annual Report and Accounts 2017.

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