This just in from Hormel (via Max Brantley's Arkansas Times Blog):
"Hormel Foods intends to maintain current operations at the plant in Little Rock and welcomes the employees there to the Hormel Foods team."
Original story (9:30 a.m.):
Peanut butter may be a simple food, but the making of it is big business.
Unilever today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of its global Skippy peanut butter business to Hormel Foods for a total cash consideration of about $700 million.
The transaction includes Unilever's Skippy manufacturing facilities in Little Rock and Weifang, China (Shandong Province).
"Skippy is an iconic brand with presence all around the world. As we continue to sharpen our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, we believe that the potential of the Skippy brand can now be more fully realized with Hormel Foods," said Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America.
Skippy's annual turnover is about $370 million. The transaction, subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, is expected to close early in 2013.
According to its Facebook page, the Skippy brand dates back to 1933.