Sector News

Unilever sells LatAm soy beverages to Coke

June 2, 2016
Consumer Packaged Goods

Unilever PLC has struck a deal with Coca Cola Co. and soft-drink bottler Coca-Cola Femsa to sell its soy beverage business in Latin America for $575 million as the Anglo-Dutch company continues to shuffle its arsenal of brands.

Unilever shares were up 0.8% in London trading to GBP31.73 ($46.35).

The beverage business, called Adesad, sells drinks that are a combination of soy milk and fruit juice. It has a presence in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, and Colombia.

“This sale is a step in reshaping our portfolio in Latin America to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever and enables us to sharpen our focus, said Miguel Kozuszok, executive vice president of Latin America for Unilever.

Unilever has been shedding food brands in recent years and making acquisitions in the higher-margin personal care space under Chief Executive Paul Polman, a strategy analysts have said gives it stronger growth prospects.

The company in 2014 agreed to sell its North American pasta sauces business under the Ragu and Bertolli brands to Japan’s Mizkan Group for $2.15 billion, and prior to that sold its Wish-Bone salad dressing to Pinnacle Foods Inc. for $580 million and Skippy peanut butter to Hormel Foods Corp. for $700 million.

By Saabira Chauduri

Source: MarketWatch

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