Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners plan to launch a joint bid for Unilever’s margarine division, which includes brands like Blue Band and Becel. The fee is allegedly 6 billion pounds (6.7 billion euro).
Other interested parties
Former Marks & Spencer CEO, Marc Bolland, and former Unilever director, Harish Manwani, currently both work for Blackstone and are apparently driving forces behind the Blackstone and CVC bid.
Investment firms CD&R and Bain Capital are allegedly preparing a similar bid and investment firms Apollo Management and KKR are also believed to have expressed an interest. Even Kraft Heinz is probably keeping an eye on the situation.
It was revealed in March that Unilever wanted to sell its margarine division, a consequence of the turned down Kraft Heinz bid. That caused a lot of turmoil within its shareholders’ ranks, as some seek more short-term profit. It prompted Unilever to sell its margarine division, which did not grow as much as hoped in the past few years. This in turn put pressure on the company’s overall growth. Unilever achieved a 2.9 % autonomous growth in the first quarter, but that would have been 3.4 % if the margarine division is excluded.
Unilever wants to sell this year, but there are multiple paths to reach that end: it could sell it directly to someone else, but it could also split off the division, giving it a separate listing on the stock exchange.