"With our growth strategy for premium tea exclusively focused on Teavana, we are pleased to transition our Tazo business to Unilever".
"Tazo represents another strategic addition which strengthens our tea portfolio towards high growth segments", said Kevin Havelock, president of refreshment at Unilever.
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Under the terms of the agreement, Unilever will acquire the Tazo brand and all related intellectual property, signature recipes and inventory. Starbucks reported quarterly results after the markets closed on Thursday, and the big story was that the coffee giant would be losing Tazo. The target, which was acquired by Starbucks in 1999, has around $112.5 million in annual sales.
Net income for the quarter reached $788.5 million equal to 54 cents per share, in comparison to $801 million equal to 54 cents per share for the same period one year ago.
"TAZO's solid position in the fast-growing specialty tea segment, coupled with Unilever's tea expertise, presents a fantastic growth opportunity", Kruythoff said in a press release.
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"With its strong appeal to millennials, Tazo is a ideal strategic fit for our US portfolio that includes exciting new brands such as Seventh Generation, Dollar Shave Club and Sir Kensington's", said Kees Kruythoff, president, Unilever North America.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approval, the companies said. Although Starbucks has been shutting down stand-alone Teavana stores, it still sells its teas in stores.
Starbucks doubled down on the market in July when it announced plans to buy out the partners in its East China joint venture. The company believes the Teavana business could be worth more than $3 billion in five years, and over the past 12 months the company has sold $1.6 billion worth of Teavana beverages inside its stores.
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Starbucks traded at $55.90 Friday morning.