Unilever shortlists four buyers in £6.5bn spreads auction

 
Alys Key
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The division includes several global margarine brands (Source: Getty)

The £6.5bn auction of Unilever's spreads division has moved onto the next phase.

Four shortlisted firms have been asked to submit new bids for the division, which includes Flora, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and Stork, according to Sky News.

The final bidders are: Apollo Global, CVC Capital Partners, KKR and Platinum Equity.

CVC Capital Partners is now being invited to re-enter the race after the rejection of its earlier bid, for which it teamed up with Blackstone.

Read more: Another suitor buttered up in £6bn Unilever spreads auction

The ongoing process was kickstarted as a result of the unsolicited interest in Unilever expressed by rival mega-consumer goods company Kraft Heinz.

Unilever has experienced slower growth this year as a result of challenging conditions including natural disasters. Its price tag of more than £6bn for the spreads business has been viewed as potentially too hefty by some in the industry.

But alliances between different firms to launch bids have given investors hope that the sale could take place for the asking price. This is in spite of the under-performance of the business, which has declined in recent years.

Read more: Unilever buys ethical tea brand Pukka

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