Australian ice cream company Weis to be acquired by Unilever

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Unilever has agreed to acquire Australian ice cream business Weis – the maker of the iconic Fruito Bar – for an undisclosed sum.

The deal sees Unilever continue to develop its ice cream range around the world, with Weis joining other Unilever brands such as Grom, Ben & Jerry’s and Talenti, which Unilever acquired in December 2014.

Unilever Australia & New Zealand chief executive officer Clive Stiff said: “We are delighted to bring Weis’ exciting and delicious range into our portfolio, adding another Australian favourite to our leading ice cream range. This acquisition will bring Weis the benefits of scale, strong market access and ice cream category expertise to help take the business to the next level in its growth.

“We are committed to providing Weis consumers and customers with the same exceptional products [made from] the same high-quality natural ingredients. We look forward to welcoming Weis’ strong, dedicated and passionate team to Unilever.”

Weis is a second-generation ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturer, founded in 1957 by Les Weis with the original Fruito Bar. Its product range features a variety of ice cream formats including single bar, multi-pack bars, dairy-free sorbet tubs and frozen yogurt tubs.

The firm’s ice creams will continue to be made in its factory based in Toowoomba, Queensland. Unilever has today also announced a buyback programme for the majority of its outstanding 6% and 7% preference shares – part of the reforms set out in the wake of Kraft Heinz’s failed bid.

Weis managing director Julie Weis said: “Our family made this decision because Unilever demonstrated their understanding of our brand, our products and how important our people and the Toowoomba manufacturing site are in ensuring Weis’ success into the future.

“In addition, Unilever’s scale will enable greater market access and growth that will provide opportunities for our extended Weis family of staff, suppliers, customers and – of course – our wonderful consumers.”

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Source:  foodbev.com

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