52 Facts About Unilever


Unilever plc is a British multinational consumer goods company with headquarters in London, England.

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Unilever products include food, condiments, ice cream, cleaning agents, beauty products, and personal care.

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Unilever is the largest producer of soap in the world and its products are available in around 190 countries.

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Unilever was founded on 2 September 1929, by the merger of the British soapmaker Lever Brothers and the Dutch margarine producer Margarine Unie.

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Unilever divested its specialty chemicals businesses to ICI in 1997.

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Unilever has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

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Unilever has a secondary listing on Euronext Amsterdam and is a constituent of the AEX index.

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In September 1929, Unilever was formed by a merger of the operations of Dutch Margarine Unie and British soapmaker Lever Brothers, with the name of the resulting company a portmanteau of the name of both companies.

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The Nazi occupation of Europe during the Second World War meant that Unilever was unable to reinvest its capital into Europe, so it instead acquired new businesses in the United Kingdom and the United States.

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Unilever took full ownership of Frosted Foods in 1957, which it renamed Birds Eye.

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In 1971, Unilever acquired the British-based Lipton Ltd from Allied Suppliers.

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In 1982, Unilever management decided to reposition itself from an unwieldy conglomerate to a more concentrated fast-moving consumer goods company.

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In 1984, Unilever acquired Brooke Bond for £390 million in the company's first successful hostile takeover.

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In 1986 Unilever strengthened its position in the world skin care market by acquiring Chesebrough-Ponds, the maker of Ragu, Pond's, Aqua-Net, Cutex, and Vaseline in another hostile takeover.

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In 1989, Unilever bought Calvin Klein Cosmetics, Faberge, and Elizabeth Arden, but the latter was later sold to FFI Fragrances.

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In 1992, Unilever Ghana was established in July following a merger of UAC Ghana Limited and Lever Brothers Ghana Limited.

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In 1993, Unilever acquired Breyers from Kraft, which made the company the largest ice cream manufacturer in the United States.

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In 1996, Unilever merged Elida Gibbs and Lever Brothers in its UK operations.

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In exchange for European regulatory approval of the deal, Unilever divested itself of Oxo, Lesieur, McDonnells, Bla Band, Royco, and Batchelors.

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In 2003, Unilever announced the strategic decision to sell off the Dalda brand in both India and Pakistan.

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In 2007, Unilever partnered with Rainforest Alliance to sustainably source all its tea.

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In 2009, Unilever agreed to acquire the personal care business of Sara Lee Corporation, including brands such as Radox, Badedas and Duschdas.

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In 2010, Unilever acquired the Diplom-Is in Denmark, Unilever announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell its consumer tomato products business in Brazil to Cargill, purchased Alberto-Culver, a maker of personal care and household products including Simple, VO5, Nexxus, TRESemme, and Mrs Dash, for US$3.

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In 2012, Unilever announced it would phase out the use of microplastics in the form of microbeads in their personal care products by 2015.

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In 2015, Unilever acquired British niche skincare brand REN Skincare, This was followed in May 2015 by the acquisition of Kate Somerville Skincare LLC The company acquired the Italian premium ice cream maker GROM for an undisclosed amount.

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Unilever bought the United States-based startup company Dollar Shave Club for a reported $1b in order to compete in the male grooming market.

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On 16 August 2016, Unilever acquired Blueair, a supplier of mobile indoor air purification technologies.

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On 16 December 2016, Unilever acquired Living Proof Inc, a hair care products business.

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On 20 April 2017, Unilever acquired Sir Kensington's, a New York-based condiment maker.

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In September 2017, Unilever acquired Weis, an Australian ice cream business.

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In October 2017, Unilever acquired Brazilian natural and organic food business Mae Terra.

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In December 2017, Unilever acquired Schmidt's Naturals, a US natural deodorant and soap company.

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In December 2017, Unilever sold its margarine and spreads division to investment firm KKR for €6.

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Unilever announced that in order to help tackle the global COVID-19 pandemic, it would contribute over €100m through donations of soap, hand sanitiser, bleach and food.

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In November 2021, Unilever agreed to sell most of its tea business under the Ekaterra division to investment firm CVC Capital Partners for €4.

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Unilever has been restructured several times, for example in 2018 and 2020 .

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In 2018, Unilever announced its intention to simplify this structure by centralising the duality of legal entities and keeping just one headquarters in Rotterdam, abandoning the London head office.

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In October 2020 Unilever announced that 99 percent of shareholders in its UK arm agreed with the merger, i e, voted to base the group in London.

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In November 2019, Unilever announced that Nils Andersen would be replacing Chairman Marijn Dekkers, who stepped down after three years in the role.

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On 26 June 2020, Unilever said it would halt advertising to U S customers on social media giants Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter until at least the end of 2020 following a campaign started by various American civil-rights groups, such as the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP, protesting Facebook's policies on hate speech and misinformation named "Stop Hate For Profit".

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In March 2016, Unilever reached an out of court settlement with 591 ex-workers of the unit who had sued the company for knowingly exposing them to the toxic element.

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In 2014, Unilever was criticised by Greenpeace for causing deforestation.

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Unilever intervened to halt the clearances pending the results of an environmental assessment.

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In 2019, Unilever was cited by BreakFreeFromPlastic as one of the top ten global plastic polluters.

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Nevertheless, in 2019, Unilever announced that it plans to halve its non-recycled plastic packaging by 2025.

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In 2020, Unilever joined 13 EU member states and more than 60 companies to sign a pact to use recycled plastic for all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products by 2025.

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Unilever decided on the scheme over Fairtrade, because according to the company's analysis, Fairtrade might "lack the scale and the organizational flexibility to certify industrial tea estates".

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On 26 July 2016, Unilever had stopped transferring cornflakes to retailer chains.

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Unilever accused Unilever of lying to his ministry regarding salmonella-infected breakfast cereals.

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On 31 August 2016, Unilever stated that the Tehina products produced by RJM had been contaminated by salmonella.

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Unilever put pressure on Shenoy and asked Cosmopolitan to fire her.

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In 2019, security forces hired by Unilever attacked workers that were peacefully picketing at a Unilever facility in Durban in South Africa.

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