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Unilever to exit the ice cream business, Ben & Jerrys to be sold – My MBA Career



Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

Unilever, a multinational consumer product company, has announced plans to spin off its quirky ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s along with its other ice cream businesses. This decision is part of Unilever’s strategy to focus on superior brands with strong positions in highly attractive categories.

The separation of the ice cream business is expected to best serve the future growth of both the ice cream division and Unilever as a whole. This move comes after activist investor Nelson Peltz joined Unilever’s board in 2022, pushing for changes at the company.

In addition to the spinoff of the ice cream division, Unilever has also announced a “productivity program” that is expected to result in a reduction of about 7,500 office-based jobs. The spinoff of the ice cream division is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2025.

Unilever acquired Ben & Jerry’s in 2000 for $326 million, allowing the Vermont-based ice cream maker to maintain its progressive values. However, in 2022, Ben & Jerry’s sued Unilever for selling its business in Israel, causing tension between the two companies.

By spinning off Ben & Jerry’s and other ice cream brands, Unilever aims to focus on boosting revenue in other divisions. The most likely route for separation is a “demerger” of the ice cream businesses, although other options are also being considered.

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Overall, Unilever’s decision to spin off its ice cream division reflects the company’s efforts to prioritize its most profitable and strategic brands while adapting to changing market dynamics.

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Dina J. Miller is an accomplished writer and editor with a passion for business and education. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has established herself as a leading voice in the MBA community. Her work can be found in a variety of MBA magazines and college publications, where she provides insightful commentary on current trends and issues in the field. Dina's expertise in business and education stems from her extensive academic background. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from a top-tier business school, where she excelled in her studies and developed a deep understanding of the complexities of the business world. Her academic achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into several prestigious academic societies.

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