Hard Cheese for 'Too Small' Boursin

07 September 2007

LONDON: Unilever has hung a 'for sale' ticket around the neck of its French cheese-making unit Boursin. Explains a parent company spokesman: ''It's a growing but small brand and cheese no longer fits in our portfolio.''

Unilever acquired le fromager, based in Pacy-sur-Eure, Normandy, in 1990. It has annual revenues of around of €95 million ($129.86m; £62.22m), with more than half its sales in France. The disposal is part of the FMCG giant's €2 billion global restructuring plan.

Unilever disclosed its intention to sell Boursin at a European works council meeting, while explaining its plans to excise 20,000 of the group's 180,000-strong global workforce over the next three to four years.

This, in conjunction with a revamped group structure, is expected to result in savings of €1.5bn annually by 2010.

Ceo Patrick Cescau was blunt about the group's criteria for brand disposals: "If they don't perform, they won't be a part of the portfolio.'

Data sourced from Telegraph.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff