Europe

After takeover bid, Unilever announces major restructuring

FILE - This is a Thursday, Oct. 13,2016 file photo of jars of savoury spread 'Marmite' which is owned by the Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever, on sale in a supermarket  in central London. Consumer products giant Unilever said Thursday April 6, 2017 that it plans to sell its spreads division and combine its foods and refreshments units as part of a major review of operations prompted by a $143 billion takeover bid by rival Kraft Heinz that fell through in February.  (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

FILE - This is a Thursday, Oct. 13,2016 file photo of jars of savoury spread 'Marmite' which is owned by the Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever, on sale in a supermarket in central London. Consumer products giant Unilever said Thursday April 6, 2017 that it plans to sell its spreads division and combine its foods and refreshments units as part of a major review of operations prompted by a $143 billion takeover bid by rival Kraft Heinz that fell through in February. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)  (The Associated Press)

Consumer products giant Unilever says it plans to sell its spreads division and combine its foods and refreshments units as part of a major review of operations prompted by a $143 billion takeover bid by rival Kraft Heinz that fell through in February.

The Anglo-Dutch company also announced Thursday a 5 billion euro ($5.3 billion) share buyback and raised its dividend by 12 percent, a move the company said reflected "increased confidence in the outlook for profit growth and cash generation."

Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman says in a statement that he is confident the changes "will accelerate the transformation of Unilever and the delivery of sustainable shareholder value over the long term."