Unilever plans to auction off its margarine and spreads business this fall, with the deal completed by year-end, its chief financial officer said last week.
Graeme Pitkethly announced the plan at a conference hosted by Deutsche Bank. "If we are unable to achieve sufficient value in an outright sale, we do plan to demerge this business, and that might take a little bit longer," the CFO was quoted by the New York Times.
Reuters cited sources that estimated the business could net Unilever about $7.5 billion.
The possibility of splitting off the large but shrinking business was first announced in April, a few weeks after Kraft Heinz made a short-lived but shocking offer to buy all of Unilever.
Unilever's worldwide margarine/spread brands include Amora, Becel, Blue Band, Country Crock, Flora, Rama and Shedd’s.