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ekaterra appoints new CEO following Unilever divestment

The globa tea company has appointed Nathalie Roos as CEO and Pierre Laubies as Chair of the Board following the completion of its sale from Unilever

Nathalie Roos (right) outlined her commitment to leading ekaterra’s plans to become a leader in sustainable tea production | Photo credit: ekaterra


Global tea business ekaterra, which controls prominent brands including Lipton and PG tips, has marked its divestment from consumer goods company Unilever by appointing Nathalie Roos as its new CEO. 

Roos, who will remain a non-executive director of UK-based coffee and food-to-go chain Pret A Manger, outlined her commitment to leading ekaterra’s ambitious plans to become a leader in sustainable tea production, including farming and distribution methods. 

“Tea holds an extraordinary role in societies around the world, steeped in tradition, culture and community spirit. It also has an incredible power to evolve and always be relevant to the times. ekaterra’s future will embody these elements too, alongside ambitious plans to become a leader in sustainable tea production, in farming and distribution methods, and also as a supporter of the communities in which we operate,” she said. 

ekaterra, which also controls B-Corp certified tea brands Pukka and T2, additionally announced the appointment of Pierre Laubies as Chair of the Board.  

Laubies, who previously served as CEO of Jacobs Douwe Egberts, outlined the opportunity eketerra had to ‘grow as a world leading tea business committed to reaching the highest sustainability goals’. 

Unilever first announced an agreement to sell ekaterra to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for €4.5bn ($5.1bn) in November 2021.  

The divestment from Unilever, effective from 1 July 2022, highlights a developing hot beverage market where traditional tea brands are suffering at the hands of premium rivals and increasing at-home coffee consumption. 

As part of the agreement, Unilever will retain control of its tea business in India, Nepal and Indonesia as well as its interests in the Pepsi Lipton ready-to-drink tea joint ventures and associated distribution businesses. 

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