LITTLE ROCK The food supplier that owns peanut butter company Skippy says it is selling the business to Hormel in a $700 million deal that includes a Little Rock-based plant.
New Jersey-based Unilever said Thursday that the sale includes the Skippy manufacturing facility in Little Rock and one in Weifang, China.
Hormel said in a statement that it "intends to maintain current operations at the plant in Little Rock and welcomes the employees there to the Hormel Foods team."
Jeffrey M. Ettinger, president, chief executive and chairman of the board at Hormel, said the deal represents "a significant opportunity."
"It allows us to grow our branded presence in the center of the store with a non-meat protein product and it reinforces our balanced portfolio," he said in a statement, noting it would also strengthen the company's global presence. Skippy is the leading brand in China.
Unilever company president Kees Kruythoff called Skippy an "iconic brand with presence all around the world."
"As we continue to sharpen our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, we believe that the potential of the Skippy brand can now be more fully realized with Hormel Foods,” he said.
The deal is expected to close early this year.