17 October 2000

Anglo-Dutch consumer goods colossus Unilever yesterday announced it would put the Bestfoods Baking Company up for sale for $21.3 billion.

Unilever acquired the US baking business – owner of the Entenmann’s, Thomas English muffins and bagels, and Orowheat, Brownberry and Arnold bread brands – as part of its takeover of Bestfoods earlier in the year. Although the unit has a turnover of $1.7bn, representing a fifth of Bestfoods’ sales, it earns only one tenth of its profits.

Likely bidders for the bakery business include Flowers, Interstate Bakeries, Earthgrains and Bimbo de Mexico.

News source: Financial Times