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T2 sold


T2Australian tea chain, T2, has been bought by global consumer goods giant, Unilever.

Unilever has acquired the retailer from T2 founder, Maryanne Shearer, and minor investors for an undisclosed amount.

It is now expected that Unilever, one of the world’s biggest tea manufacturers, will expand the business into other markets.

Unilever operates grocery, personal care, and beauty brands, such as Dove and Rexona, in 190 markets.

In Australia, Ben & Jerry’s is the only other Unilever brand with a retail presence.

T2 has 39 stores across Australia, including a T2B cafe-style retail concept opened in Sydney’s QVB in July.

It has one store in New Zealand and an e-commerce presence.

It generated $57 million in sales for the year to June 30 and is said to be experiencing double digit growth.

“We are delighted that we have found a home for T2 that has such a depth of knowledge of tea and has pioneered sustainability in the industry,” says Shearer.

Shearer, who will stay onboard post-sale, says the acquisition will help T2 “realise the full potential of the business we have spent the last 17 years building”.

T2 primarily sells loose leaf teas, herbal infusions, and boutique tea accessories, such as teapots and tea sets.

Unilever operates global supermarket tea brands, Lipton and Bushells, and has offices in key markets globally.

Kevin Havelock, Unilever president for refreshment, says “T2 is a fast growing premium tea business with great potential.”

“[Our existing tea portfolio] will allow us to bring the benefits of scale and access to new markets to the T2 business.”

According to T2, the retailer sells enough tea per month to make seven million cups of tea.

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