Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever is planning to sell its Loders Croklaan unit which produces nutritional oils and fats. The sale is part of Unilever's ongoing Path to Growth strategy which is focusing the company on its core activities.
Dutch-based Loders Croklaan has factories in Wormerveer, near Amsterdam, and in Channahon, near Chicago, with smaller plants in Toronto and Cairo and sales offices in a further seven countries. The business employs some 600 people and in 2001 had sales of approximately $240 million (€265m).
Loders Croklaan has a strong innovation record, and has traditionally supplied ingredients to the confectionery and bakery industries worldwide. However, it also has a significant business providing nutritional products such as conjugated linoleic acid (sold under the Clarinol name), speciality fish oils containing omega-3, EPA and DHA fatty acids (Marinol brand) and gamma linolenic acid (Gammanol).
Unilever said that the business' future would be best served by a new parent company able to focus on the development of its full potential.
No more information was given about the expected price or the timetable for the sale.
Danish ingredients firm Aarhus Oliefabrik is thought to be among the parties interested in acquiring Loders Croklaan, as well as US agribusiness giant Cargill and Sweden's Karlshamn.