Unilever, London, received a binding offer from KKR, New York, to purchase its global spreads business, which includes brands such as Becel, Flora, Country Crock, Blue Band, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, Rama and ProActiv.

“In April of this year, we set out our 2020 program to accelerate sustainable value creation. After a long history in Unilever, we decided that the future of the spreads business would lie outside the group. The announcement today marks a further step in reshaping and sharpening our portfolio for long-term growth. The consideration recognizes the market-leading brands and the improved momentum we have achieved. I am confident that under KKR’s ownership, the spreads business with its iconic brands will be able to fulfil its full potential as well as societal responsibilities,” says Paul Polman, chief executive officer of Unilever.

“There is a positive momentum in the performance of the spreads business, and we are excited about continuing this journey with KKR,” adds Nicolas Liabeuf, chief executive officer of Unilever’s spreads unit, who will continue to lead the business. “We are confident that our business and the entrepreneurial spirit of our people will thrive further under new ownership.”

“The strength of the portfolio of consumer brands in spreads provides a firm foundation for future growth. We look forward to deploying our global network and operational expertise to support the business’s growth ambitions, while continuing to follow Unilever’s responsible sourcing policies, including working toward the goal of sourcing 100% sustainable palm oil by 2019,” says Johannes Huth, head of KKR EMEA.

Unilever’s spreads business operates across 66 countries around the world.