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Unilever Unveils Strategy: Ice Cream Unit to Spin Off, 7,500 Jobs Cut

World 19.03.2024
Source: The DairyNews
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In a strategic move aimed at reinvigorating growth, Unilever Plc announced plans to separate its ice cream business, home to iconic brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Magnum, under the leadership of CEO Hein Schumacher.
Unilever Unveils Strategy: Ice Cream Unit to Spin Off, 7,500 Jobs Cut
This restructuring initiative will also see the elimination of 7,500 jobs, primarily in office-based roles, as part to achieve €800 million in cost savings over the next three years, writes Bloomberg.

Options for the separation include a demerger to create a new listed entity, with the ice cream division reporting sales of €7.9 billion ($8.6 billion) in 2023. This shift underscores Unilever's commitment to streamlining operations and focusing on core businesses, which encompass beauty and wellbeing, personal care, home care, and nutrition.

The decision mirrors a trend seen in the industry, with rival Nestle SA having previously separated its ice cream business. Unilever's move aims to resolve long-standing challenges, including controversies surrounding political stances taken by Ben & Jerry’s, such as the recent court battle over licensing in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Schumacher, who took the helm from Alan Jope amid pressure from activist investor Nelson Peltz, seeks to revitalize the conglomerate's performance. Despite facing headwinds like inflation, Unilever's revenue edged up by 4.7% in the final quarter of 2023, indicating a potential turnaround.

The separation of the ice cream business is expected to commence immediately, with completion targeted by the end of next year.
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