While the sale price was not given, it was reported to be half of the £300m asked for by majority shareholder and private equity firm Carlyle in 2017. The Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Marmite owner fought off competition from PepsiCo and Kellogg to clinch the deal.
Commenting on the acquisition, Unilever’s president of its food and refreshment business Nitin Paranjpe said: “Accelerating our presence in healthy foods and out-of-home, this is an excellent strategic fit for the Unilever Food & Refreshment business and a wonderful addition to our stable of purpose-driven brands.
‘Grow the business’
“We look forward to working with the Graze team to grow the business, leveraging their tech and e-commerce expertise for our wider portfolio and offering more consumers the opportunity to snack in a healthier way.”
Graze chief executive Anthony Fletcher said the sale marked a transformational moments in the snack firm’s growth journey.
“Graze has an incredibly exciting future ahead as part of Unilever and we look forward to working closely with the team to keep on inventing new healthy snacks, as well as continuing to work to understand the role technology can play in improving the food industry,” he added.
Home subscription service
Starting in 2008 as a home subscription service that supplied healthy snacks directly to consumers, Graze has since launched its range of products in supermarkets in the UK and the US.
Jope took over as Unilever chief executive at the beginning of January, following the retirement of former chief executive Paul Polman after 10 years in the role. Polman will support the transition process in the first half of this year and will leave the company in early July.
Meanwhile, last month, Unilever continued its acquisition trail with the purchase of meat-free producer The Vegetarian Butcher for an undisclosed sum.