Call it a multibillion dollar wakeup call. Just weeks after rejecting an unsolicited takeover bid by Kraft Heinz, Unilever is planning to sell about $7.4 billion of its food brands, according to reports. Specifically, Unilever is considering selling its Flora margarine and Stork butter businesses. Sources say private equity firms Bain Capital, CVC, Clayton Dubilier and Rice have begun to build offers for the consumer product company’s “spreads business.”
Unilever is making the move after rejecting Kraft Heinz's $143 billion bid last month. But calls for Unilever to spin off its less profitabl food business have been heard for years. During the past year, Unilever has made a range of acquisitions, including Seventh Generation, Dollar Shave Club, Living Proof and Blue Air.