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Teaching activity

In the News Teaching Activity – Unilever are planning to sell off Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Veal

28th March 2024

Unilever, the global leader in consumer goods, producing brands, such as Dove, Hellman’s, PG Tips and Domestos, has announced job cuts and an ice-cream sell-off in its strategic restructuring plan.

Unilever is restructuring, cutting 7,500 jobs globally over three years, focusing on efficiency and productivity improvements. They plan to separate off the ice cream unit, including well-known brands like Ben & Jerry's and Magnum. The move aims to simplify operations and boost performance. The job cuts, mostly in office roles, aim to save €800m. The ice cream division, with €7.9bn sales, is most likely to be demerged, giving shareholders the chance to hold shares in the new ice cream entity. Unilever’s shares rose 5% post-announcement, indicating investor approval of the demerger. The move was not surprising due to the underperformance of the ice cream unit, which may perform better as an ice-cream only focused business.

Unilever is cutting jobs and splitting off its ice cream unit - BBC News

1 What is a demerger?

2 According to the article, why has there been a lack of synergy between Unilever’s main consumer products and the ice-cream/frozen goods?

3 Discuss the likely advantages and disadvantages of the planned demerger between Unilever and its ice-cream business.

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Elizabeth Veal

Liz has taught Economics for over 25 years, including several years as Head of Economics at leading schools.

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