Uniliver is struggling with a temptation to sell the tea branch. It performs weaker than the rest but allows to control important regional markets. Lipton brand may stay with Uniliver, at least for some of the products. But will the potential buyers agree on partial sale?
Unilever is considering retaining rather than selling certain parts of its tea division. Insiders reported this to the Bloomberg news agency. At the beginning of this year, Unilever announced that it would review its tea activities, including the Lipton brand. All options are on the table, including a sale.
However, according to the sources, Unilever would like to stick to certain parts of the tea division, such as activities in India and Indonesia. The company would also like to retain its interest in the partnership with PepsiCo for Lipton iced tea.
By decreasing the sales volume of the tea branch, the possible yield can be lower than with a full sale of the part. Market experts initially assigned a value to the tea division of approximately 5.5 billion euros.
Bloomberg reported last month that several parties had signed up for the part, including investors KKR, Cinven and Bain Capital. The Swiss owner of chocolate maker Barry Callebaut, Jacob Holdings, would also be interested.
Unilever may release more details about the sales process later this month, with the release of its half-year results on July 23. The company declined to comment to Bloomberg about the reports.