Unilever has sold the North American activities of pasta sauce brands Ragu and Bertollito Mizkan from Japan, but it will still retain the Bertolli brand in Europe and Latin America.
The sale of the brands in North America is apparently worth 2.15 billion dollars (1.6 billion euro) and is the next step in Unilever's strategy to focus on personal hygiene products, which carry larger margins, and on really big brands like Knorr.
It had already sold off several brands in North America and hopes to get rid of Slim-Fast as well. Alongside the sale of the sauce brands, which generate a yearly turnover of 440 million euro, Unilever also sold off several American production companies. The entire deal should be finalized by the end of June.
Mizkan is a Japanese company founded 210 years ago with a focus on herbs, oils, cooking wines and similar products. It has been purchasing European and American brands since 2011 to expand its foreign reach.
"This transaction represents an important milestone in our global expansion strategy. We are confident that this transaction allows us to further achieve our objective of diversification and expansion of our international footprint", CEO Kazuhide Nakano said.