Unilever Completes Sale of Its Tea Business, ekaterra, to CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII

On June 30, Unilever announced that it completed the sale of its tea business, ekaterra, to the CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII. CVC Capital Partners is a leading private equity and investment advisory firm with a network of 25 offices throughout Europe, Asia and the United States.

Unilever and CVC entered into the agreement for the sale of ekaterra in November 2021 for €4.5 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis.

The completed transaction excludes Unilever’s tea business in India, Nepal and Indonesia, as well as Unilever’s interests in the Pepsi Lipton ready-to-drink tea joint ventures and associated distribution businesses.

ekaterra is a global leader in the tea industry, with a portfolio of 34 brands including Lipton, PG tips, Pukka, T2 and TAZO. The business generated revenues of around €2 billion in 2020.

In November of 2021, when the sale of the company was first announced, 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.”

He added: “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. I would like to thank our tea colleagues around the world for their passion and commitment to our tea business and wish them well for the future.”

Pev Hooper, a managing partner at CVC Capital Partners, also commented last November at the initial phase of the sale: “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, also noted in November: “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.”

To learn more about ekaterra, visit ekaterratea.com. To learn more about CVC Capital Partners, visit CVC.com. Info on Unilever can be found here: Unilever.com.

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