Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Europe-based Unilever PLC has sold North America’s iconic Ragu and Bertoli brand name spaghetti sauces to Japan’s Mizkan Group for $2.15 billion.
Mizkan is a privately held maker of condiments and sauces that started as a rice vinegar maker in central Japan more than 200 years ago.
The deal reportedly includes the acquisition and operation of a sauce processing and packaging facility in Owensboro, Kentucky, and a tomato processing plant in Stockton, California.
Ragu is currently the best-selling pasta sauce in the US. Both Ragu and Bertoli have combined annual North American sales exceeding $600 million.
Mizkan announced the acquisition saying that it is “seeking to expand its international businesses to counterbalance poor prospects in its domestic market due to Japan’s aging population.”
The deal is expected to close within the next few weeks.