Unilever to acquire natural and organic food business in Brazil

by Monica Watrous
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Mãe Terra distributes more than 120 products throughout Brazil.
 

LONDON — Unilever P.L.C. has agreed to acquire Mãe Terra, a natural and organic food business in Brazil. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 1979, Mãe Terra distributes more than 120 products throughout Brazil, the fifth largest market in the world for healthy food and beverages, Unilever said. Mãe Terra’s portfolio includes organic cereals, cookies, snacks and culinary products. The company’s main categories in Brazil represent a market worth more than €8 billion, according to Euromonitor.

“We are excited about this acquisition, it has a great following in Brazil and strengthens our food portfolio, allowing us to accelerate our expansion in the high-growth naturals and organic segment,” said Fernando Fernandez, president of Unilever Brazil. “With Unilever’s expertise and distribution channels, we can both grow and scale Mãe Terra, helping to realize its mission of bringing healthy and nutritious food to even more people. This is perfectly aligned to Unilever’s commitment to sustainable nutrition and to provide consumers with food that tastes good, does good and doesn’t cost the Earth.”

Alexandre Borges, chief executive officer of Mãe Terra, will remain with the company as general manager.

“Unilever understands how preserving our purpose-driven culture is critical to the growth of our business and the popularity of our foods,” Mr. Borges said. “It is uniquely placed to help us accelerate our mission to bring natural and organic food to more people in Brazil.”

The deal is Unilever’s latest in a string of transactions in the natural and organic marketplace. Earlier this year, the company acquired organic tea business Pukka Herbs and condiment maker Sir Kensington’s and, through its venture capital and private equity arm, invested in Sun Basket, an organic meal kit delivery service. 
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