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Unilever Indonesia to sell spreads business to KKR for $210m

FBR Staff Writer Published 25 June 2018

Unilever’s Indonesian subsidiary has agreed to divest its food spreads business to a subsidiary of US-based private equity firm KKR & Co for IDR2.92tn ($210m).

The transaction, which has been approved by the shareholders of Unilever Indonesia, is expected to help the consumer goods company to concentrate on the personal care and other food categories in its portfolio.

As part of the deal, Unilever Indonesia will be selling the intangible assets of Frytol, Blue Band Master and Blue Band spreads along with the domestic trademarks for Samin Oil and Blue Band Gold.

The company has also agreed to offload its tangible assets that include production assets, equipment, inventory and a food processing plant Cikarang, West Java that produces butter and margarine products.

Unilever Indonesia president director Hemant Bakshi said: “This business separation marks the next step in reshaping and sharpening our portfolio for long-term growth.

“The sale will allow the spreads businesses to stand alone, focusing on growth and innovation.”

The transaction, which is anticipated to be completed next month, follows an agreement made in December 2017 between Unilever and KKR, in which the private equity firm had agreed to acquire the former’s margarine and spreads business for €6.825bn in an all-cash deal.

Unilever’s spreads business features brands such as Becel, Blue Band, Flora, ProActiv, Rama, Country Crock and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.

Last year, the company revealed that the future of its spreads business is outside the group following a review under its 2020 program, which aims to speed up sustainable value creation. As part of it, Unilever agreed to sell its South African spreads business to Remgro for $900m in September 2017.

The €6.825bn transaction on the other hand, which is subject to some regulatory approvals and employee consultation in certain regions, is expected to be completed in mid-2018.

Last year, KKR & Co through its Asian Fund III purchased a stake of 12.64% in Nippon Indosari Corpindo, an Indonesian producer of bread products.

Image: KKR to buy Unilever Indonesia’s spread business for about $210m. Photo: courtesy of Unilever.