Unilever to spin off its ice cream business (Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s) and restructure workforce

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European consumer products giant Unilever has announced that, in order to accelerate its growth and productivity plan, it will spin off its ice cream business, as well as save cost with a workforce restructuring that will affect 7,500 of the company’s employees. “The board believes that Unilever should increasingly focus on a portfolio of undisputedly superior brands with strong positions in highly attractive categories that have complementary operating models,” the multinational said.

In that regard, its ice cream business (Ice Cream), heretofore comprised of brands such as Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s , has a very different operating model and, as a result, it has decided that the spin-off best serves the future growth of both Ice Cream and Unilever. It has not yet determined the formula for this separation, although it has indicated that the spin-off of Ice Cream “is the most likely route.” This is to be implemented now and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

This separation will create a leading global business, operating in a highly attractive category, with brands that together generated €7.9 billion in revenue in 2023. As a stand-alone business, it will have operational and financial flexibility to grow its business, allocate capital and resources in support of the company’s distinctive strategy.

Following the separation, Unilever will operate four business groups in Beauty & Wellness, Personal Care, Home Care and Nutrition, with complementary routes to market and/or R&D, manufacturing and distribution systems in both developed markets and Unilever’s extensive presence in emerging markets.

On the other hand, Unilever also plans to launch a comprehensive productivity program, driving focus and faster growth through a more efficient and responsible organization, made possible by investment in technology. The idea is to generate cost savings of around 800 million euros over the next three years. In turn, this plan will affect the workforce, as around 7,500 jobs are likely to be cut.