Unilever to sell its olive oil brands in Greece


Nine years after its first stab at selling off its olive oil activities in Greece, Unilever is making a second attempt. To counterbalance its departure, the Dutch-British giant is planning to start manufacturing cleaning products in Greece which to date have only been produced in other countries.

The company’s local subsidiary, Elais-Unilever Hellas, announced this week that it intends to sell its Altis, Elanthi and Solon olive oil brands. Besides the trademarks, the buyer will also get the Elais factory on Pireos Street – the main thoroughfare linking the Greek capital with the port of Piraeus – as is, complete with its employees.

Unilever is also seeking a buyer in Greece and internationally for its margarine brands produced in Greece at the company’s other plant, in Rendi. They are the Flora, Vitam, Altis Soft and Becel brands, for which no final decision has been made yet. A senior company official told Kathimerini that “it would be ideal if both the olive oil and the margarine brands ended up in the same company.”

Unilever intends to pull out of the olive oil market as “for some time it has ceased to be a strategic category for the group. It only accounts for 7-8 percent of the company’s total turnover and has major fluctuations in prices,” the same official explained.