US-based Pinnacle Foods and B&G Foods are evaluating plans to acquire Unilever's leading American salad dressing brand Wish-Bone, which has been put up for sale.
The divestment of Wish-Bone is part of Unilever's strategy to divest its non-core food assets and focus more on personal care products.
The sale of the brand, which is being managed by investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, is likely to fetch about $400m to $500m, reported Reuters, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Wish-Bone was acquired from its owner Phil Sollomi in 1958 by tea brand Lipton, which was later purchased by Unilever in 1972.
Wish-Bone branded products are manufactured in Kansas City. The product range includes Light Asian Sesame Vinaigrette, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Creamy Caesar, Spring Onion Ranch, Romano Basil Vinaigrette and Frank's RedHot Buffalo Ranch, among others.
In May this year, Unilever hired Goldman Sachs to sell its Wish-Bone brand salad dressing business.
Unilever chief executive officer Paul Polman told investors during a Q4 2012 earnings call that the company would continue to divest non-core food brands, and would evaluate products with €500m to €700m in revenues that do not have the potential for global expansion.
In line with this plan Unilever sold its Skippy peanut-butter business in the US to Hormel Foods for $700m earlier this year
Last year, the British-Dutch conglomerate sold its North American frozen meals business, which includes the Bertolli and PF Chang's Home Menu frozen meals businesses, to ConAgra Foods in an all cash deal of $267m.
In 2011, Unilever sold its Culver Specialty Brands division to B&G Foods for $325m in cash.