Unilever is selling its global tea business, ekaterra, to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for €4.5 billion.
Ekaterra has a portfolio of 34 brands including Lipton, PG tips, Pukka, T2 and TAZO. The business generated revenues of around €2 billion in 2020.
The sell-off is the result of a two-year process of reviewing ad spinning off the division, which is now the largest tea business in the world. Analysts say that declining sales of black tea in key territories lies behind Unilever’s decision, with the consumer goods group now focused on high growth categories.
Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever said:“The evolution of our portfolio into higher growth spaces is an important part of our growth strategy for Unilever. Our decision to sell ekaterra demonstrates further progress in delivering against our plans.
“We are proud of the place that our Tea business has in our company’s history. We look forward to seeing ekaterra, with its strong brands and global footprint, prosper under CVC’s ownership.”
Pev Hooper, a managing partner at CVC Capital Partners said: “ekaterra is a great business, built on strong foundations of leading brands and a purpose-driven approach to its products, people and communities. ekaterra is well positioned in an attractive market to accelerate its future growth, and to lead the category’s sustainable development. We look forward to working with the team to realise ekaterra’s full potential.”
John Davison, CEO of ekaterra, said: “ekaterra is a strong business with positive momentum and has an exciting future ahead under the new ownership of CVC. We look forward to the next stage of our journey as the world’s leading Tea business.”