Unilever exploring sale of French baking and dessert business

by Eric Schroeder
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Alsa Baking products, Unilever
The Alsa line includes more than 50 products, including pastry aids, milk desserts, cakes and jellies.

LONDON — Dr. Oetker has made an offer to acquire the Alsa baking and dessert business of Unilever P.L.C. Financial terms of the transaction, which would include Alsa’s manufacturing unit in Ludres, France, were not disclosed.

Bauke Rouwers, Unilever
Bauke Rouwers, general manager of Unilever France

“In the context of our global strategy to accelerate long-term, sustainable value creation, the baking and desserts category is not part of Unilever’s evolving core portfolio,” said Bauke Rouwers, general manager of Unilever France. “We are confident that under Dr. Oetker’s ownership and support, Alsa, which has established a strong legacy in the world of desserts since its origins in 1897 in Lorraine, would be able to progress to its full potential.”

Unilever acquired Alsa in 2000 as part of a strategy to consolidate its position in France. The brand, which has been around for more than 115 years, has more than 50 different products, from pastry aids to milk desserts, cakes and jellies. Since 2014, the company has offered a range of cakes and milk desserts inspired by the traditional recipes of French pastry, such as lemon cake and far Breton.

Didier Muller, general manager of Dr. Oetker France, noted that Alsa is a brand “whose know-how and product quality perfectly complement our product range.”

“We would be happy to welcome Alsa into Dr. Oetker’s group,” Mr. Muller said. “Our goal is to pursue the brand’s growth and development both in France and internationally, based on its know-how and innovation capabilities.” 
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