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Ben & Jerry’s sues Unilever to dam sale of its Israeli enterprise

Ben & Jerry’s sues Unilever to dam sale of its Israeli enterprise

Ben & Jerry's sues Unilever to block sale of its Israeli business

Ben & Jerry’s has sued father or mother firm Unilever over its resolution to promote the ice cream model’s enterprise in Israel to a licensee.

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Courtroom in New York on Tuesday, Ben & Jerry’s stated Unilever’s resolution to divest its enterprise in Israel final week “was made with out the consent of Ben & Jerry’s Impartial Board of Administrators, the entity contractually empowered with defending Ben & Jerry’s model.” It famous this association was agreed upon when Unilever acquired Ben & Jerry’s in 2000.

Ben & Jerry’s filed for an injunction to cease Unilever from violating the phrases of its merger and shareholders settlement, “to protect the established order and shield the model and social integrity Ben & Jerry’s has spent many years constructing.”

In an announcement to The Wall Avenue Journal, a Unilever spokesperson stated the corporate had the fitting to enter the association and famous that “the deal has already closed.” Meals Dive reached out to Unilever for added feedback. 

Final week, Unilever introduced it could promote its Ben & Jerry’s enterprise pursuits in Israel to Avi Zinger, the proprietor of American High quality Merchandise Ltd (AQP), the present Israel-based licensee that had manufactured and distributed the ice cream model in Israel and the West Financial institution. By the association, Ben & Jerry’s can be bought underneath its Hebrew and Arabic names underneath full possession of AQP. 

Unilever reached the association after reviewing Ben & Jerry’s July 2021 announcement that it could now not permit its ice cream to be bought within the West Financial institution as a result of it was “inconsistent with our values for our product to be current inside an internationally recognised unlawful occupation.” Ben & Jerry’s stated it could not renew its license settlement with AQP when it was set to run out on the finish of 2022, however would “stay in Israel by a distinct enterprise association.”

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On the time of Ben & Jerry’s announcement, Unilever commented that it remained dedicated to its presence in Israel and “all the time recognised the fitting of the model and its unbiased Board to take choices about its social mission.” Ben & Jerry’s board chair later informed NBC Information that it had wished to launch a distinct assertion that didn’t point out continued gross sales in Israel. 

The announcement by Ben & Jerry’s to finish gross sales within the West Financial institution triggered a backlash from the prime minister of Israel, in addition to a number of U.S. state attorneys basic that challenged Unilever’s assist of the ice cream model. Greater than half a dozen states together with Texas, New York and Florida divested their pension fund investments in Unilever. The Ben & Jerry’s announcement additionally triggered a shareholder lawsuitAQP filed its personal swimsuit towards Ben & Jerry’s in March over its resolution to sever their relationship. 

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