Unilever to create venture fund

The consumer products group is talking with private equity firms over the creation of a subsidiary venture capital fund.

Unilever is looking to create a venture capital fund that will develop businesses outside its core food and personal care interests, the Financial Times reports today.

The consumer products group said it is in discussions with private equity firms over the possibility of creating a fund that would combine balance sheet money and external venture capital. More specific details have not yet been made available.

The company said the aim of such a fund would be to build new businesses that could in time develop into value-creating opportunities for Unilever.

Nestle, a Unilever rival, announced a similar venture last month. The group said it plans to create a science and technology fund of up to £85m that will investigate opportunities in areas such as genomics and other life sciences.