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Unilever mulls possible $400 mln Skippy peanut butter sale

LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Consumer goods group Unilever Plc/NV is looking at a possible sale of its Skippy peanut butter business based in the United States and Canada which could, if sold, fetch around $400 million.

The brand had annual sales of around $300 million in 2011, but the Anglo-Dutch group is looking to focus on its higher growth food brands such as Knorr and Hellmann's, and its fast-growing personal care brands such as Dove, Lux and Rexona.

"As part of a recently completed strategic review, we have decided to explore various options for our Skippy business in the U.S. and Canada including, but not limited to, a potential sale of the business," Unilever said in a statement on Thursday.

Analysts said they expected the brand could fetch just over one times annual sales, and said a sale could made sense as Unilever looks to focus its business more on emerging markets and its personal care products.

Unilever declined to comment further on the outcome of the review.

(Reporting by David Jones; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

((David.Jones@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 20 7542 7972)(Reuters Messaging: david.jones.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: UNILEVER SKIPPY/

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