The multinational bought Slim-Fast in 2000 for $2.3 bn (£1.4 billion) and it is being sold to private equity company Kainos Capital for an undisclosed sum. Unilever will retain a minority stake in the business.
As early as 2005 Unilever admitted Slim-Fast was underperforming and at that point slashed its valuation to £609m.
It sold off the Ragu and Bertorelli pasta sauce brands in the UK and Ireland to Symingtons last year and the North American arm of the sauce business to Mizkan Group last month for $2.15 billion.
Unilever’s focus on investing in marketing for its power brands is beginning to pay off with first quarter results reported in April showing a rise in underlying sales of 3.6 per cent.
The company has said that much of its marketing investment has fallen in the first half of the year to support the launch of new products under its Cif, Tresemme, Comfort and Vaseline brands.
In April chief financial officer Jean Marc Huet said: “At the heart of this strategy is sustained investment behind our brands, with strong impactful advertising and bigger innovations.”