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Unilever to sell meat, sauce and can soup factory in Oss to Zwanenberg Food Group

Published 04 July 2017

Unilever intends to enter into a strategic partnership with Zwanenberg Food Group.

The partnership pertains that Unilever will sell its meat, sauce and can soup factory in Oss to Zwanenberg Food Group (ZFG) and that ZFG intends to relocate a volume of approximately 18,000 tons of its canned meat production to the factory in Oss in 2019.

This will lead to a 50% increase of the current meat volume produced in the factory in Oss and hence to a 20% increase of employment. As part of the strategic partnership, Unox will be able to use ZFG’s innovative power with respect to meat, vegetarian and snack products. This will lead to a further growth of the Unox brand in these growth segments, which are so important to Unox. Because of this growth, Unox can respond more effectively to the current consumer trends.

In addition to Unox products, the factory in Oss also produces Bertolli and Knorr products. All brands and recipes will remain under the ownership of Unilever and Unilever will retain responsibility for all marketing and sales with respect to those brands.

ZFG will be responsible for the production of all products. As a result of this partnership, the factory in Oss will become the biggest factory within the ZFG network.

Conny Braams, General Manager Unilever Benelux: “Unox is and remains a very important brand to Unilever in the Netherlands. A brand with a rock solid local reputation. The decision to embark on a strategic partnership with ZFG has been taken with the sole purpose to accelerate the brand’s growth.

"We expect to achieve substantial benefits as a result of the capitalization of our joint scale in Oss. In addition, the fact that Unox will be able to use both the innovative and investment power of ZFG enhances the growth possibilities of the brand. Hence, the partnership with ZFG is the best choice for a healthy future for the factory, its employees and the Unox brand.”

Aldo van der Laan, Chairman Zwanenberg Food Group: “Acquiring the factory is part of ZFG’s strategy to further develop and expand the company by means of a wider range of foods, with a focus on long shelf life products. Furthermore, the new situation gives ZFG the opportunity to broaden the position in soups and sauces it currently primarily holds in the UK and the US, to the Netherlands and the rest of the European continent.”

The sale of the factory means that the current 325 Unilever employees in Oss will transfer to Zwanenberg Food Group. The intended transition will be submitted for approval to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets and for advice to the works councils of Unilever and Zwanenberg.



Source: Company Press Release