Unilever sells Skippy peanut butter brand for $700m

Unilever has agreed to sell its Skippy brand of peanut butter to US group Hormel Foods – the maker of Spam – in an all-cash deal worth $700m.

The transaction is expected to be finalised early this year “subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions”, Unilever said.

Annual sales of Skippy, which was launched in 1932 and is available in over 30 countries, are around $370m. In 2012, Hormel posted total sales of $8.2bn.

“Skippy is an iconic brand with presence all around the world,” Unilever’s North America president, Kees Kruythoff, said, but added that the brand’s potential could “be more fully realised with Hormel Foods”. The sale includes manufacturing facilities in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Weifang in China.

Hormel’s chairman, Jeffrey Ettinger, said that adding Skippy to its line of foods would “strengthen our global presence, and should be a useful complement to our sales strategy in China for the Spam family of products.” He said that in the United States, peanut butter was the second most popular sandwich ingredient, after ham.

Comment from

News that Unilever has sold its Skippy peanut butter brand comes as little surprise. The well-flagged disposal follows a number of divestments in the packaged food space. The consumer goods giant is clearly hoping that its food interests will benefit from greater focus, while the decision to shed a largely US-leaning brand reflects Unilever’s disposition towards emerging markets.

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