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Unilever may exit food business to expand in health, beauty, and hygiene
Unilever is looking to sell or de-emphasize its food & beverage units as it eyes the consumer healthcare division of GlaxoSmithKline, whose products include Advil pain reliever and Aquafresh and Sensodyne toothpaste.
The latest bid was reported at $68 billion, which would require Unilever to raise cash, which may prompt it to sell off its remaining food & beverage portfolio.
Unilever’s food & beverage products include Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Hellman’s mayonnaise.
According to Unilever, its strategic direction lies in materially expanding its health, beauty, and hygiene businesses, which would require major acquisitions accompanied by the accelerated divestment of lower-growth brands and businesses.
Unilever had sold parts of its food and beverage businesses recently, including its spreads portfolio in 2017 and most of its tea business in 2020.
According to Unilever CEO Alan Jope, while its food and refreshments products are still profitable, its long-term growth profile has been below other parts of its portfolio.