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Unilever to keep making Soviet-style ice cream as it excludes Russian arm from spin-off

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Published Time: 16.05.2024 - 18:40:30 Modified Time: 16.05.2024 - 18:40:30

Conglomerate still runs four ice cream factories in Putin’s Russia Vivian Wan/Bloomberg Unilever will hang onto its Russian ice cream business despite plans to offload its frozen desserts business

Conglomerate still runs four ice cream factories in Putin’s Russia

: Vivian Wan/Bloomberg

Unilever will hang onto its Russian ice cream business despite plans to offload its frozen desserts business.

The Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s owner is mulling a potential sale or IPO of its ice cream brands, which are worth about €8bn (£6.9bn) in annual revenues. However, Unilever said on Thursday it will not include its Russian ice-cream business in the deal as they have been ring-fenced from the rest of the company.

Plans to hang on to its Russian ice cream operations come despite pressure on Unilever to quit the country altogether in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Unilever was labelled as an “international sponsor of war” by the Ukrainian government, which until recently published a list of companies it deemed to be indirectly contributing to the war.

While it still trades there, Unilever has stopped advertising and halted imports and exports from Russia.

Mr Schumacher said last year that remaining in Russia was the “least bad option” and that, were it to leave, its operations could end up being seized by the Russian state.

Other major food and drink companies including Mondelez – the owner of Cadbury – and Nestlé have taken a similar stance.

: Chris J Ratcliffe

Unilever runs four ice cream factories in Russia, where it owns the company Inmarko. It sells Cornetto and Carte D’Or in the country, as well as a Russian version of Magnum, called Magnat, a brand called Max that resembles Twister, and a Soviet-style ice cream brand called Golden Standard.

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