Unilever to Acquire TAZO Brand from Starbucks

11/2/17

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Unilever today announced an agreement to acquire the TAZO® brand from Starbucks. TAZO® is a leading brand in the fast-growing specialty tea category.

Under the asset purchase agreement, Unilever will acquire the TAZO® brand and all related intellectual property, signature recipes and inventory for US$384 million. The transaction represents a multiple of 10 times pro forma EBIT. TAZO® had sales of US$112.5 million over the past year*.

Founded in 1994, TAZO® has a strong position in Specialty Black, Green and Herbal teas, as well as liquid concentrates focused in the Chai Latte segment. The fast-growing specialty tea segment makes up 48% of the total US$1.6 billion (FY 2016) at-home tea category and trends suggest it will become more prominent in the future**. TAZO® is sold primarily in grocery, mass and convenience channels in the US and Canada, and is offered in formats including packaged teas, K-Cup® pods and bottled ready-to-drink teas.

“With its strong appeal to millennials, TAZO® is a perfect strategic fit for our US portfolio that includes exciting new brands such as Seventh Generation, Dollar Shave Club and Sir Kensington’s,” said Kees Kruythoff, President, Unilever North America. “TAZO®’s solid position in the fast-growing specialty tea segment, coupled with Unilever’s tea expertise, presents a fantastic growth opportunity.”

“TAZO® represents another strategic addition which strengthens our tea portfolio towards high growth segments. Its artfully crafted specialty teas perfectly complement our global tea business, which includes Lipton, Pure Leaf, PG Tips, T2 and our recent addition, Pukka,” said Kevin Havelock, President of Refreshment, Unilever.

Subject to regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

*LTM 6/30/2017 TAZO® Net Revenue is $112MM ($112,471,883).

**Unilever calculation based in part on data reported by Nielsen through its ScanTrack Service for the tea category for the 52-week period ending 12/17/16, for the total U.S. market, xAOC, according to the Unilever custom product hierarchy. Copyright © 2017, The Nielsen Company.

About Unilever North America:

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home Care, Personal Care and Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. In the United States and Canada, the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Becel, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Caress, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy, Country Crock, Degree, Dollar Shave Club, Dove, Fruttare, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Magnum, Nexxus, Noxzema, PG Tips, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Pukka, Pure Leaf, Q-tips, Seventh Generation, Simple, Sir Kensington’s, St. Ives, Suave, T2, Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, TIGI, TRESemmé and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies.

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