Unilever's Manager of Corporate Real Estate for North America Vincent Santella confirmed today the investment of $30 million to construct a new 800,000 square distribution facility in Wilmer, Texas. The major distribution facility is part of Unilever's "One Unilever" vertical consolidation initiative for foods and home personal care products.
The new facility is located near the Union Pacific Intermodal facility on I45 at Pleasant Run in the Sunridge Business Park. The 800,000 square foot facility begins construction within the next 30-60 days. Site preparation is currently underway. Mr Santella said that this will be the first "One Unilever" facility in the United States to consolidate distribution chains for both the foods and the home personal care products lines which had evolved separately. The facility is scheduled to be operational by late 2008.
At the October 4 Wilmer City Council meeting, Unilever requested and received an 85% tax abatement over ten years stating that the economics of the planned facility is an excellent investment. The facility is expected to provide $200,000 in tax revenues for the city after applying the abatement, increasing Wilmer's tax base by almost ten percent. Mr. Santella confirmed that the new distribution facility would provide 110 new warehouse jobs to the Wilmer economy.
Unilever is a global conglomerate traded on the Amsterdam, London, New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, Zurich, Luxembourg, and Vienna stock exchanges, with an annual world wide sales volume over $55 Billion (40 billion euros). Incorporated in 1929 as Unilever Limited in the U.K. and Unilever N.V. in the Netherlands, American consumers would best know the Lever Brothers and Cheesborough-Ponds brands and most of the brands acquired by the conglomerate since the 1980s. Unilever manages over 400 major international brands serving 160 million people daily world wide.
While Unilever is a favorite among investors, it is not a household name here in the United States, but its' products and brands are widely known and include food product brands like Popsicle, Ragu, Country Crock, Wish Bone, Slim Fast, Skippy Peanut Butter, Lipton, Lowry's, Knorr, Klondike, Hellman's, Good Humor, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, Breyer's Ice Cream and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. Personal care consumer products brands include "all", Axe, Wisk, Lever 2000, Dove, Pond's, Suave, Snuggle, Q-Tips and Vaseline Petroleum Jelly.
Unilever PLC (UL) stock closed on Friday at $32.69 on the New York Stock Exchange, while Unilever N.V. (UN) stock closed at $31.61.