Unilever sells pasta brand to Philippines’ RFM

Global FMCG giant Unilever has agreed to sell its pasta brand for Royal $47.8 million to Philippine-based consumer goods firm RFM Corp to focus on its core businesses.

In a disclosure, RFM said the deal covers the 58-year-old Royal trademark, goodwill and inventories. The transaction does not include any of Unilever's facilities or employees in the Philippines.

Ramon Lopez, RFM vice-president, expects that the acquisition would increase the pasta business’ share of the company’s total operations from 15% and would more than offset lost revenues from the selling of its Swift meat business in late 2012.

RFM’s other products include White King cake and sauce mixes, baked bread, milk and beverage brand Sunkist.

“Moving forward, RFM will continue to look for acquisitions that will strengthen its positioning in the food and beverage categories,” it said in the disclosure.

In a separate statement, Rohit Jawa, chairman and CEO of Unilever Philippines, said: “Unilever’s decision to divest the Royal brand is in line with our global strategy to focus on our core businesses.”

“Royal pasta is a high quality brand which I am confident will do well under RFM’s experienced management,” Jawa adds.

RFM's Fiesta pasta brand is currently the country’s market leader, while Unilever’s Royal is on second place. Both companies have an existing ice-cream joint venture called Selecta.