Anglo-Dutch consumer products group Unilever said today it would sell its edible oils unit Loders Croklaan Group to Malaysia's IOI Corporation for €217 million in cash.
Negotiations were advanced enough to start procedures with the trade unions, Unilever said in a statement.
Loders Croklaan, which had sales of €267 million last year, has two main plants in the Netherlands and the United States with smaller ones in Egypt and Canada.
The company said the sale was part of its sweeping reorganisation plan to cut its brand portfolio to 400 from 1,600 and to boost sales growth to 5.8 per cent and margins to 16-17 per cent by 2004.
Loders Croklaan nutritional oils include Clarinol, CLA for weight management and immune system support, Membranol, fractionated lecithin (Phosphatidyl Choline) for cardiovascular health, liver health and memory improvement, Gammanol, gamma linolenic acid (GLA) concentrates for women's health; and Betapol, human milk fat replacements for baby food.