The European Commission has approved Permira Funds' E1.725bn acquisition of the majority of Unilever's European frozen foods business.

Unilever agreed to sell the business, which includes its operations in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal and the UK, and the brands Birds Eye and Iglo, to Permira Funds in August this year.

The deal was cleared after the European Commission failed to identify any antitrust problems, or received any complaints from rivals within 25 working days.

The businesses had a turnover of E1,237m in 2005 and a pre-tax profit of E174m.

Cheryl Potter, partner at Permira, said: “We are delighted the Permira Funds are acquiring such iconic brands and look forward to supporting their growth going forward. The market sees few food deals of this size and very rarely involving brands of this stature.”

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