Anglo-Dutch consumer products group Unilever has completed the sale of its Dutch-based edible oils unit Loders Croklaan to Malaysia's IOI Corporation Berhad group. In May this year Unilever announced that it wanted to divest Loders as part of its 'Path to Growth' strategy - a drive to focus on core activities and to boost sales growth.
According to Unilever, Loders Croklaan is now part of the IOI group and the sale will have no immediate consequences on the day-to-day operation of the company. The company name will stay the same, with Etienne Selosse remaining in charge of the company.
Clearly, both Loders, a producer of speciality oils and fats (lipids) and proteins for the food processing industry, and IOI hope to benefit from the transaction. The IOI group is seen as a strong business partner to take Loders Croklaan forward. Loders should benefit through optimal control of the supply chain, a stronger base in the Asian market and linkages with the oleochemical activities of IOI Corporation. IOI claims that it will benefit from the strong presence of Loders Croklaan in Europe and NorthAmerica and from its research and development capacities.
IOI Corporation Berhad is one of the largest listed companies in Malaysia, with interest in plantations, refinery oleochemicals and property development. Loders Croklaan, with a head office in Wormerveer, The Netherlands, employs some 600 peopleand had sales of €267 million in 2001. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.