Unilever to Spin Off Ice Cream Business, Cut 7,500 Jobs

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As part of a new cost-saving programme, Unilever has announced plans to spin off its ice cream unit, which includes popular brands like Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s. The move will cut about 5.9% of the global workforce, amounting to approximately 7,500 jobs.

Investors responded positively to the news, with shares of Unilever, a leading consumer goods company, surging nearly 6% following the announcement.

The spinoff of the ice cream business is set to begin immediately and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. Unilever stated that the ice cream business is in the process of transitioning to a separate head office in Amsterdam, although CEO Hein Schumacher indicated openness to options regarding its listing.

Activist investor Nelson Peltz’s fund, along with Unilever shareholder Aviva, welcomed the strategic move.

Unilever aims to achieve mid-single-digit underlying sales growth and modest margin improvement post-split. The ice cream business currently contributes about 16% to Unilever’s global sales.

Additionally, Unilever launched a cost-saving programme targeting approximately 800 million euros ($869 million) over the next three years. The restructuring efforts will predominantly impact office-based roles, with job cuts affecting around 5.9% of Unilever’s workforce.

CEO Hein Schumacher emphasised the company’s commitment to streamlining operations and focusing on key brands to drive growth and efficiency.

Unilever’s decision to spin off its ice cream business and implement cost-saving measures underscores its strategic shift towards optimising its portfolio and enhancing shareholder value in a rapidly evolving market.