Unilever has entered into an agreement to sell its global tea business Ekaterra to CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII for €4.5 billion.
Ekaterra has a portfolio of 34 tea brands, including Lipton, PG Tips, Pukka, T2 and Tazo. According to Unilever, the tea business generated €2 billion in revenue in 2020.
Following a strategic review announced last year, Unilever completed the operational separation of its tea business at the beginning of October. In its third-quarter results, the company said it was “focused on the next stage” for the business – which was expected to be either an IPO, sale or partnership.
The newly announced deal excludes Unilever’s tea business in India, Nepal and Indonesia, as well as its interests in the Pepsi Lipton ready-to-drink tea joint ventures and associated distribution businesses.
Unilever’s CEO, Alan Jope, said: “The evolution of our portfolio into higher-growth spaces is an important part of our growth strategy for Unilever. Our decision to sell Ekaterra demonstrates further progress in delivering against our plans.”
CVC Capital Partners managing partner, Pev Hooper, added: “Ekaterra is a great business, built on strong foundations of leading brands and a purpose-driven approach to its products, people and communities. Ekaterra is well-positioned in an attractive market to accelerate its future growth, and to lead the category’s sustainable development.”
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022.
By Rafaela Sousa
Free-from is becoming much more mainstream, moving beyond food allergens and intolerances. While it’s still vital to innovate products for lactose intolerance, gluten allergies and so forth, the umbrella term of free-from has taken on many different meanings.
Arla Foods Ingredients (AFI) is targeting infant formula, sports nutrition and medical nutrition with its new patented milk fractionation technology that separates milk proteins from whey, bypassing the need to make cheese. The Denmark-based company says this move enables scientists, nutritionists and health professionals to create “next-generation” dairy products.
Located in Ma’anshan, Anhui province, the facility has the potential to produce an estimated 150 million litres of oat-based products annually at full capacity. The opening comes just a few months after Oatly – which claims to have established a new Chinese character for ‘plant-based milk’ – inaugurated its first Asian factory in Singapore.