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Jack Links buys Unilever's European meat snacks business

  • Article by: Mike Hughlett
  • Star Tribune
  • February 21, 2014 - 8:06 PM

Jack Link’s is moving further into the European market, announcing Friday that it plans to buy Unilever’s meat snacks business.

Minong, Wis.-based Jack Link’s, king of the U.S. meat snacks business, will buy the Peperami brand, which is big in the United Kingdom, and the BiFi brand, which is sold in Germany and other continental countries. The brands will be a major addition to Link’s European presence, which already includes its own brand.

Terms of the deal, which includes a manufacturing plant in Germany, were not disclosed.

Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch global consumer products giant, put the meat snack brands up for sale last year. Unilever has been pruning its food portfolio of late, including selling the Skippy peanut butter brand last year to Hormel Foods for $700 million.

Jack Link’s is based in the small northwestern Wisconsin town of Minong and has a marketing office in the Twin Cities.

“Jack Link’s mission is to be the No. 1 provider of branded meat snacks throughout the world,” Troy Link, Jack Link’s CEO, said in a statement. The Unilever deal “is an important step in delivering on that mission.”

Jan Zijderveld, Unilever Europe’s president, said in a statement that BiFi and Peperami are “two iconic local brands … We believe that the potential of these two brands can now be more fully realized with Jack Link’s.”

Mike Hughlett • 612-673-7003

© 2014 Star Tribune