Unilever to acquire Weis ice cream business in Australia
Sydney & Toowoomba – 9 August 2017. Unilever today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Weis, an Australian ice cream business.
Weis is a second-generation Australian ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturer, proudly founded in 1957 by Les Weis with the original iconic Fruito Bar. Its unique range features a variety of formats including single bar, multi-pack bars, dairy-free sorbet tubs and frozen yogurt tubs. Weis ice creams continue to be made in its factory in Toowoomba, Queensland, using locally sourced, natural and high-quality ingredients.
Clive Stiff, Unilever Australia & New Zealand CEO said: “We are committed to providing Weis consumers and customers with the same exceptional products with the same high quality natural ingredients and we are pleased to be continuing its manufacturing operation here in Toowoomba. We look forward to welcoming Weis’ strong, dedicated and passionate team to Unilever.”
“We are delighted to bring Weis’ exciting and delicious range into our portfolio, adding another Australian favourite to our leading ice cream range. This acquisition will bring Weis the benefits of scale, strong market access and ice cream category expertise to help take the business to the next level in its growth.”
“Our Streets ice cream brand was created here in Australia by Edwin ‘Ted’ Street in the 1920s and is one of the nation’s best loved brands so ice cream is strategically important to Unilever Australia. Weis is another great Australian success story – a story that will continue with Unilever.”
Weis Managing Director, Julie Weis said: “Our family made this decision because Unilever demonstrated their understanding of our brand, our products and how important our people and the Toowoomba manufacturing site are in ensuring Weis’ success into the future. In addition Unilever’s scale will enable greater market access and growth that will provide opportunities for our extended Weis family of staff, suppliers, customers and of course our wonderful consumers. “
Commenting on the acquisition, Weis founder Les Weis said: “Learning about the many Founders involved in Unilever’s business right from its original founder William Lever through to Australia’s Edwin Street has greatly encouraged my wife Val and I, and the family, that Weis will be in good company and under long-term care with Unilever. Val has always said to me ‘Business is like a wheelbarrow, it doesn’t go anywhere unless someone pushes it’ and I think Unilever will give Weis just the push it needs.”
Clive Stiff added: “Weis’ values align with Unilever’s vision to make sustainable living commonplace and its products will help meet increased consumer demand for ice cream made with premium ingredients. We know that Weis has been a long-term supporter of the local fruit industry and we look forward to continuing to work with this well-established supplier base.”
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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About Unilever Australia & New Zealand
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 169,000 employees and generated sales of €52.7 billion in 2016. Unilever employs more than 1700 people, and has offices and manufacturing facilities in Australia and New Zealand.
Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world. In Australia and New Zealand, our brands include Flora, Lipton, Bushells, Dove, Rexona, Lynx, Vaseline, OMO/Persil, Surf, Continental, Toni & Guy, Choysa, Ben & Jerry’s and Streets.
Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:
* Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
* Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030
* Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.
The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. The company’s sustainable living brands are growing 50% faster than the rest of the business and delivered more than 60% of the company’s growth in 2016.
Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2016 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the seventh year running. Unilever has pledged to become carbon positive in its operations by 2030.
Unilever has been named in LinkedIn’s Top 3 most sought-after employers across all sectors and named Graduate Employer of Choice in Australia.
Weis Frozen Foods is a proud second-generation Australian company which started in Toowoomba, Queensland, in 1957. Today, the world-class Weis range of Bars, Ice Creams, Frozen Yoghurts and Sorbets is loved across Australia and around the world. We're passionate about surprising and delighting our customers with exceptional quality ingredients and fabulous flavour combinations. We're proudly following in the footsteps of our founder Les Weis, who started it all in 1957 with his iconic Fruito Bar.
At Weis our products are based on recipes, so the focus is on the subtle blending of real ingredients and ultimately the taste. You'll find Weis Bars all around Australia in convenience stores, milk bars and service stations. Our Multipacks, Frozen Yoghurts, Sorbets and Weis for Dessert ranges are stocked by major supermarket chains Woolworths and Coles and independent grocery stores. You can also indulge in a Weis Bar on some international flights departing Australia and we export to countries including Singapore, China, Japan and the US.