ABN - Unilever is set to gain full ownership of its South African subsidiary after agreeing a US$901 million swap deal for its Southern African spread business with investment holding company Remgro.
Under the deal, Remgro will sell back its 25.75% stake of Unilever South Africa to Unilever, giving the company full control of the national subsidiary, while Remgro will take up ownership of its regional spread business and receive a cash sum of $371 million.
The Anglo-Dutch firm’s spreads business is present in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, and valued at $530 million under the deal.
"By giving us full ownership of the business, this transaction means we are better placed to accelerate that growth while the spreads business moves on to Remgro where it augments their current portfolio," said Luc-Olivier Marquet, executive vice-president of Unilever South Africa.
The deal is the first step in Unilever’s exit of its dwindling spreads business, a move it promised earlier this year after an unsolicited $143 billion takeover offer from Kraft-Heinz was tabled.