A consortium formed by US private equity firm Advent International and Singapore’s Government Investment Corporation (GIC) is expected to put forward an offer ahead of a bid deadline, Sky News reported.
PG Tips and other tea brands owned by the FTSE 100 group have already received interest from Cinven and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, as well as private equity groups Carlyle, Clayton Dubilier & Rice and KKR.
KKR already bought Unilever’s spreads business for GBP5bn in 2017.
Last year, the consumer goods colossus revealed plans to sell the segment after a strategy review.
It scheduled the disposal process to end this year, although it seems 2022 would be a more likely date now.
Analysts at Hargreaves Lansdown said at the time that the tea sale was “the latest effort by the consumer goods giant to shed some weight in the face of rapidly changing customer habits”, as “boosting agility and becoming more streamlined” were a core pillar of the strategy under Jope to get sluggish pre-Covid sales moving in the right direction.
The sale could be an opportunity to reappraise the consumer goods behemoth’s sprawling business as the public adjusts to the ‘new normal’.
Shares in Unilever rose 1% to 4,003p on Monday before close.