SOURCE: Unilever

September 09, 2008 09:00 ET

Unilever Completes Sale of North American Laundry Business to Vestar Capital Partners

LONDON--(Marketwire - September 9, 2008) - Unilever (NYSE: UL) (NYSE: UN) today announced that it has completed the sale of its North American laundry business in US, Canada and Puerto Rico to Vestar Capital Partners (Vestar).

Vestar, a leading global private equity firm, will merge the business with its existing operation, Huish Detergents Inc., to form a new company, The Sun Products Corporation (Sun Products).

Unilever has received an aggregate consideration of approximately $1.45 billion, consisting of approximately $1.075 billion in cash, preferred shares in Sun Products with a face value of $375 million, and warrants offering the opportunity to acquire up to 2.5% of the common equity of Sun Products.

The sale is part of Unilever's previously announced plans to dispose of non-strategic brands with collectively more than EUR 2 billion in turnover.

Unilever Safe Harbour:

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as 'expects', 'anticipates', 'intends' or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, including financial objectives to 2010, and their negatives are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Group. They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including, among others, competitive pricing and activities, consumption levels, costs, the ability to maintain and manage key customer relationships and supply chain sources, currency values, interest rates, the ability to integrate acquisitions and complete planned divestitures, the ability to complete planned restructuring activities, physical risks, environmental risks, the ability to manage regulatory, tax and legal matters and resolve pending matters within current estimates, legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments, political, economic and social conditions in the geographic markets where the Group operates and new or changed priorities of the Boards. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report & Accounts on Form 20-F. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

About Unilever

Unilever's mission is to add vitality to life. We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal care with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life.

Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong local roots in more than 100 countries across the globe. Its portfolio includes some of the world's best known and most loved brands including twelve EUR 1 billion brands and global leadership in many categories in which the company operates. The portfolio features brand icons such as Knorr, Lipton, Hellmann's, Flora, Breyer's, Dove, Lux, Pond's, Degree, Axe, Suave, Sunsilk, Persil, Cif and Domestos.

Unilever has around 174,000 employees in approaching 100 countries and generated annual sales of over EUR 40 billion in 2007. For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit

Contact Information

  • For further information, please contact:

    Unilever Media Relations
    Unilever US:
    Anita Larsen
    + 1 201 894 7760

    Unilever London:
    Trevor Gorin
    + 44 20 7822 6010

    Unilever Rotterdam:
    Gerbert van Genderen Stort
    + 31 (0)10 217 4844