Unilever has agreed to sell its global Skippy peanut butter business to Hormel Foods for about $700 million.

Unilever, Skippy, Hormel, peanut butter, center store, foods, Kees Kruythoff, Jeffrey Ettinger

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Unilever to divest Skippy peanut butter brand

January 3rd, 2013

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. – Unilever has agreed to sell its global Skippy peanut butter business to Hormel Foods for about $700 million.

The deal, announced Thursday, includes Unilever's Skippy manufacturing facilities in Little Rock, Ark., and Weifang, China. The companies expect the transaction to close in early 2013, pending regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

"Skippy is an iconic brand with presence all around the world. As we continue to sharpen our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, we believe that the potential of the Skippy brand can now be more fully realized with Hormel Foods," stated Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America.

The Skippy peanut butter domestic line consists of 11 varieties of shelf-stable peanut butter products. The brand, introduced in 1932, holds the No. 2 share in this center-store category and is the leading brand in the faster-growing subcategory of natural peanut butter, according to Hormel.

Peanut butter is a $2 billion category with a 74% household penetration and is the second most popular sandwich behind ham in the United States, Hormel said. Internationally, Skippy peanut butter is the leading brand in China and is sold in more than 30 other countries on five continents.

The brand's total annual sales are expected to be about $370 million, with nearly $100 million of those sales outside the United States.

"The acquisition of the Skippy peanut butter business represents a significant opportunity for Hormel Foods. It allows us to grow our branded presence in the center of the store with a nonmeat protein product, and it reinforces our balanced portfolio," commented Jeffrey Ettinger, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods.

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