Unilever has confirmed it will sell its global tea business, ekaterra, which includes iconic household brands PG Tips and Liptons, to CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII for €4.5bn (£3.8bn).
ekaterra is the world’s leading Tea business, with a portfolio of 34 brands which also includes Pukka, T2 and TAZO®. The division reaped revenues of approximately €2 billion in 2020.
Alan Jope (below), CEO of Unilever said: “The evolution of our portfolio into higher growth spaces is an important part of our growth strategy for Unilever. Our decision to sell ekaterra demonstrates further progress in delivering against our plans.”
He added: “We are proud of the place that our Tea business has in our company’s history. We look forward to seeing ekaterra, with its strong brands and global footprint, prosper under CVC’s ownership. I would like to thank our Tea colleagues around the world for their passion and commitment to our Tea business and wish them well for the future.”
Pev Hooper, a Managing Partner at CVC Capital Partners said: “ekaterra is a great business, built on strong foundations of leading brands and a purpose-driven approach to its products, people and communities. ekaterra is well positioned in an attractive market to accelerate its future growth, and to lead the category’s sustainable development. We look forward to working with the team to realise ekaterra’s full potential.”
The deal is expected to be finalised in the second half of 2022 and is subject to completion of works council consultation processes and the receipt of certain regulatory approvals.
Significantly, the transaction perimeter excludes Unilever’s Tea business in India, Nepal and Indonesia as well as Unilever’s interests in the Pepsi Lipton ready-to-drink Tea joint ventures and associated distribution businesses.
John Davison, CEO of ekaterra, said: “ekaterra is a strong business with positive momentum and has an exciting future ahead under the new ownership of CVC. We look forward to the next stage of our journey as the world’s leading Tea business.”