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Unilever strikes R11.9bn deal over South African spreads business

The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods maker said it would acquire Remgro’s 25.75% shareholding in its South African subsidiary.

FILE: Unilever logo. Picture: Facebook.

LONDON - Unilever and South African investment holding company Remgro on Friday announced an R11.9 billion deal that sees Unilever trade its spreads business in southern Africa for Remgro’s stake in its South African subsidiary.

The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods maker said it would acquire Remgro’s 25.75% shareholding in its South African subsidiary in exchange for the spreads business in southern Africa and cash of R4.9 billion.

The deal values the spreads business at R7 billion, representing a multiple of 13.4 times core earnings (EBITDA).

The deal is the first step in Unilever’s exit of its shrinking spreads business, a move it promised earlier this year following an unsolicited $143 billion takeover offer from Kraft-Heinz.