Birds Eye Iglo nets Findus Italy
Unilever on Monday announced that it agreed to sell Findus Italy to Birds Eye Iglo in a deal valued at EUR 805 million (USD 1.04 billion).
Birds Eye Iglo rival the Findus Group, maker of Young’s frozen seafood products, was also in the running for Unilever’s Italian frozen food business. Findus Italy’s brands include Capitan Findus, 4 Salti in Padella, Sofficini and That’s Amore.
Findus Italy was the only part of Unilever’s European frozen food operations that it kept when it sold Birds Eye and Iglo to Permira in 2006, so this deal reunites two businesses once under the same roof.
According to a Financial Times report, the acquisition of Findus Italy is being financed with about EUR 500 million of debt, and Permira is providing EUR 300 million of equity.
Findus Italy’s 2009 sales totaled EUR 462 million.
“Findus is the lynchpin of an attractive and profitable frozen foods business, and I am confident that it will prosper under the dedicated resource and focused management that the new owners will bring,” said James Hill, chairman of Unilever Italy. “With this deal Unilever is now in a stronger position to focus on its core categories outside frozen foods and to achieve long-term growth in the Italian market.”
Approximately 650 Findus Italy employees will transfer to Birds Eye Iglo. The transaction is still subject to EU antitrust regulatory approval.All Supply & Trade stories >