Unilever Separating its Ice Cream Division, includes Ben & Jerry’s

As part of a reorganization intended to save around €800 million (£684 million) over the following three years, Unilever plans to slash 7,500 positions internationally and sell off its ice cream business.

This action is part of the business’s newly revealed comprehensive productivity initiative, which was started because the business “identified additional efficiencies that can now be accelerated.”

“The proposed changes are expected to impact around 7,500 predominantly office-based roles globally, with total restructuring costs now anticipated to be around 1.2% of Group turnover for the next three years (up from the around 1% of Group turnover previously communicated),” a statement said.

Moments after the news, Unilever’s stock was up 5.6%; however, it later significantly pared its gains and was up 4.1% at 9:20 a.m. London time.

Ben & Jerry’s, Wall’s, Magnum, and other three of the top ten selling ice cream brands in the world are produced by this division. It also produces Breyers, which is well-known in the US, Viennetta, Cornetto, and Carte d’Or.

The most likely consequence is a demerger of the division, which generates €7.9 billion in revenue annually and represents 16% of company sales, though Unilever is also exploring alternative options. By the end of 2025, the spin-off is anticipated to be finished.

Schumacher stated that all possibilities were being explored but declined to specify where the amalgamated ice cream company would be listed. Managed from Rotterdam, along with the rest of its culinary business.

Four departments will remain inside Unilever following the split: personal care, home care, nutrition, and beauty and wellbeing.

The restructure is good news, according to Terry Smith, managing director of Fundsmith, Unilever’s tenth-largest shareholder, who also called Ben & Jerry’s the “fly in the ointment” of the ice cream industry.

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