Unilever is selling its Italian frozen foods business, Findus Italy, to Birds Eye Iglo for £688m.

The acquisition of Findus Italy, which manufactures frozen Italian foods such as bolognese and carbonara, is being financed with around £424m of debt.

Findus Italy was the only division of Unilever’s European frozen food business that it retained when it sold Birds Eye and Iglo to UK private equity group Permira in 2006 for €1.7bn.

The buy-out firm is providing €300m of equity for the purchase.

The sale was first mooted in December last year, when the Findus Group was touted as a potential buyer alongside Birds Eye Iglo.

“With this deal, Unilever is now in a stronger position to focus on its core categories outside frozen foods and to achieve long-term growth in the Italian market,” said Unilever Italy chairman James Hill.

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