08 May

Unilever mulls €600m sale of Bertolli olive oil

By Robin Pagnamenta,

Unilever, the maker of Marmite and Magnum ice cream, confirmed today that it was considering the sale of its Bertolli olive oil business as it reported a 7.2 per cent rise in first quarter sales.

The Anglo-Dutch company, the world’s third largest maker of consumer goods, said it was considering a range of options for the Bertolli range of oils, including a sale, which it is thought could raise as much as €600 million.

A spokesman said Unilever would want to retain brand rights as it also sells a range of other Bertolli products, including pasta sauces.

If sold, Bertolli, the world’s leading olive oil brand with products currently sold in over 50 countries, would be the latest in a string of disposals by Unilever, which is seeking to simplify its range of products as part of a wider restructuring drive.

Earlier, Unilever appeared to raise hopes that a long-standing turnaround plan at the company was starting to reap rewards as it reported turnover rose 6 per cent at €9.57 billion.

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