Unilever to raise $2bn from brands auction

Unilever is set to generate $2bn (£1.3bn) from the sale of its US bakery business and several European brands, including Oxo stock cubes and Batchelors Cup-A-Soup

LONDON (Brand Republic) - Unilever is set to generate $2bn (£1.3bn) from the sale of its US bakery business and several European brands, including Oxo stock cubes and Batchelors Cup-A-Soup

The Campbell Soup Company, HJ Heinz and Nestle are thought to among those interested in acquiring the Unilever brands. The brands have annual sales of around $500m (£340m) and are expected to fetch at least that sum after second-round bids were submitted last week.

Sara Lee, Grupo Bimbo de Mexico and Earthgrains are thought to be competing for the US bakery business and it is expected that final offers -- due in by mid-February -- will exceed $1.4bn (£95m).

The sale follows the $21.3bn (£14.4bn) acquisition last year of Bestfoods, maker of Knorr bouillon and Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Unilever must sell its food brands as condition of approval for the purchase by the European Commission.

It is expected to put the proceeds towards a bid for the $2.4bn (£1.6bn) haircare brand Clairol, owned by Bristol Myers Squibb.



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