Unilever sells Wish-Bone salad dressings brand for $580 million

Unilever is selling their Wish-Bone salad dressings brand for $580 million to Pinnacle Foods Inc.

The purchase brings in new brands (such as the Western dressings brand) for Pinnacle Foods Inc. which wil hopefullyl increase the annual earnings of company by about $190 million, according to analysts.

Pinnacle Foods Inc. which is owned by the Blackstone Group LP, is the maker of the Hungry Man dinners.

The sale is a result of Unilever attempting to shift from the food business and focus more on its  beauty and health products brands – the company recent sold its peanut butter brand “Skippy”.

The Unilever portfolio currently includes some of the world’s best known brands such as Knorr, Persil / Omo, Dove, Sunsilk, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Rexona / Sure, Wall’s, Lux, Rama, Ponds and Axe, 14 of which generate a turnover of €1 billion or more.

Erin Lash, an analyst at Chicago-based Morningstar Inc., told Bloomberg that the sale “fits within Unilever’s mantra lately of repositioning their portfolio to stronger long-term growth prospect brands. With some of these brands, they weren’t able to leverage the strength and others would be more apt to do so.”

Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, said:

“Wish-Bone is an iconic brand and the number-one Italian dressings brand in the US. We believe that the potential of both the Wish-Bone and Western brands can now be more fully realised with Pinnacle Foods. As we continue to shape our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, this change will give us the focus to drive growth behind our core foods portfolio.”

Unilever is changing it’s vision

Unilever is currently undergoing a huge change in the vision and purpose of the company, focusing more on health and beauty brands and shift away from the food industry.