India play: Unilever ups its bet on Hindustan subsidiary

 

Consumer goods giant Unilever today made a €4.1 billion (£3.4 billion) long-term bet on soaring growth in India, as it unveiled plans to raise its stake in its Indian subsidiary.

The maker of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream already owns 52.5 per cent of Hindustan Unilever, India’s largest maker of consumables, but plans to up its stake to 75 per cent. Unilever chief executive Paul Polman said: “This represents a further step in Unilever’s strategy to invest in emerging markets.

“The long heritage and great brands of Hindustan Unilever, and the significant growth potential of a country with 1.3 billion people make India a strategic long-term priority.”

Unilever grew its turnover by just 0.2 per cent to €12.2 billion in its first quarter, hurt by falling revenue in Europe.

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