- Unilever has enlisted Morgan Stanley to aid the sale of its Ragú pasta-sauce brand. Unilever expects to sell the brand for between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.
- Among the companies contacted about the sale were: HJ Heinz Co., the ketchup maker acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and 3G Capital last year, Kraft Foods Group Inc., and Pinnacle Foods Inc., which bought Wish-Bone last year for $580 million.
- A sale of a major brand would be consistent with CEO Paul Polman's adopted strategy to sell off food brands as he shifts the focus for the world's second-largest consumer goods producer away from food and more into personal-care products.
As we saw in January, Unilever is also considering a sale of the SlimFast line. But it’s not just letting the bigger items priced in billion or half-billion dollar range go, it’s even selling off smaller holdings like beef jerky. There’s a lot of selling activity this year because, aside from its long term goal for reducing the number of food products owned, Unilever has set a short-term objective to achieve a one-time savings of €500 million (about $775 million) by reducing the number of individual products it sells by 30% and cutting up to 2,000 jobs.