Suitors Line Up for Unilever’s $2 Billion Brand Sale

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Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Possible suitors for Unilever‘s (NYSE:UL) pasta sauce brand Ragu include Hormel Foods Corp., J.M. Smucker Co., Pinnacle Foods Inc., Hillshire Brands Co., Post Holdings Co., and Japan’s grocery supplier Mizkan Co., Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

Ragu is expected to fetch as much as $2 billion at auction; the first rounds of bids are due at the end of this week, and all of the aforementioned potential buyers have contacted banks to discuss their interest, according to sources with knowledge of the matter said, per Bloomberg.

Unilever has spent the past few years focusing on its health and beauty brands, while gradually selling off food brands. The company sold Ragu in the UK in 2011. It sold Skippy peanut butter and Wish Bone last year, and last month it sold its European meats business, which included the Peperami brand.

A spokesperson for Unilever as well as representatives for all of the rumored potential buyers declined to comment on the Ragu auction, Bloomberg said Thursday.

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