ICONIC BRAND: Mrs Ball's Chutney

SOUTH Africa’s largest food company, Tiger Brands, said on Friday it would buy iconic local brand Mrs Ball’s Chutney from Unilever for R475m.

Tiger Brands CEO Peter Matlare said the acquisition of the Mrs Ball’s brand would give Tiger ownership of one of South Africa’s most treasured food brands and would complement its current retail offering within the culinary business.

Dickon Hall, the current manufacturing partner for the Mrs Ball’s retail products and a wholly owned subsidiary of Libstar, will continue to serve as Tiger’s manufacturing partner for the business.

The turnover for the brand for 2011 was R189m.

The transaction is subject to Competition Commission approval.

Unilever South Africa chairman Marijn van Tiggelen said the company reviewed its portfolio of brands continually, and the decision to sell was the result of a strategic review of the brand and the subsequent finding that Unilever could not give the focus to Mrs Ball’s that the iconic South African brand deserved.

Tiger Brands owns brands such as All Gold, Tastic and KOO.