LONDON — CVC Capital Partners is acquiring ekaterra, Unilever’s tea business, for €4.5 billion ($5 billion). Ekaterra’s business has 34 tea brands, including Lipton, Pukka, T2 and Tazo. The business had approximately €2 billion ($2.3 billion) in sales in 2020.
“Ekaterra is a great business, built on strong foundations of leading brands and a purpose-driven approach to its products, people and communities,” said Pev Hooper, managing partner of CVC Capital Partners. “Ekaterra is well positioned in an attractive market to accelerate its future growth, and to lead the category’s sustainable development. We look forward to working with the team to realize ekaterra’s full potential.”
Ekaterra employs approximately 3,500 around the world and has close to 90 facilities.
CVC Capital Partners has approximately $125 billion in assets under management. Current food company investments in the private equity firm’s portfolio are Deoleo, an olive oil manufacturer; GarudaFood, a maker of beverages, biscuits, confectionery and snacks; Munchy Food Industries, snacks and confectionery; and Vivartia, a processor of dairy products and frozen foods.
In July 2020, Unilever said it was divesting part of its tea business. The company will continue operating its tea businesses in India and Indonesia and remain in its joint venture with PepsiCo, Inc., Purchase, NY.
“The evolution of our portfolio into higher-growth spaces is an important part of our growth strategy for Unilever,” said Alan Jope, chief executive officer of Unilever. “Our decision to sell ekaterra demonstrates further progress in delivering against our plans.”