Unilever has signed an agreement to acquire the business of Betty Ice SRL, a Romanian ice cream producer headquartered in Suceava. The value of the deal was not disclosed, and the transaction is subject to regulatory approval by government competition authorities.
Founded in 1994 by Vasile Armenean, Betty Ice is the leading local ice cream producer in Romania, where it employs 760 people and generated sales of approximately €30 million last year. The company produces 60 varieties of standard, premium and super-premium ice cream at its factory in Suceava. Distribution is year-round through company-owned gelato stores in four cities and from more than 180 kiosks during the summer time.
Led by Armenean in his capacity as general manager, Betty Ice will operate as a standalone unit within Unilever’s South Central Europe Ice Cream division. This plan is to further expand the brand by combining strengths of the Unilever group with Armenean’s local ice cream market expertise and knowhow.
“We are delighted that Betty Ice will join the Unilever family. It is a wonderful business, much loved by Romanians,” said James Simmons, managing director Unilever South Central Europe. “I am very pleased that Vasile Armenean has decided to join our company. He is an outstanding entrepreneur and will play an instrumental role in creating a bright future for this new business.”
Armenean commented: “In 23 years we have grown a great business in Romania, and we are proud that Betty Ice, the number 1 ice cream brand in the country, will join the portfolio of the number 1 ice cream producer in the world. Our legacy and Unilever’s vision is a perfect match for the future of the Betty Ice brand.”