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.
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