Ben & Jerry’s sues parent Unilever to block sale of Israeli business

Marie C. Delgado

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NEW YORK, July 5 (Reuters) – Ben & Jerry’s on Tuesday sued its mother or father Unilever Plc (ULVR.L) to block the sale of its Israeli organization to a local licensee, stating it was inconsistent with its values to market its ice product in the occupied West Financial institution.

The grievance submitted in the U.S. District Courtroom in Manhattan reported the sale introduced on June 29 threatened to undermine the integrity of the Ben & Jerry’s brand name, which Ben & Jerry’s board retained independence to guard when Unilever acquired the corporation in 2000.

An injunction towards transferring the business and associated trademarks to Avi Zinger, who operates American Quality Products and solutions Ltd, was vital to “shield the brand and social integrity Ben & Jerry’s has used decades making,” the complaint stated.

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Ben & Jerry’s said its board voted 5-2 to sue, with the two Unilever appointees dissenting.

Unilever, in a statement, said it does not focus on pending litigation, but that it experienced the correct to provide the disputed organization and the transaction had now closed.

“It is really a performed deal,” Zinger’s lawyer Alyza Lewin claimed in a individual statement. The sale fixed Zinger’s have lawsuit in March in opposition to Ben & Jerry’s for refusing to renew his license.

The dispute highlights issues dealing with buyer manufacturers getting a stand on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Lender.

Most nations around the world contemplate the settlements unlawful. In April 2019, Airbnb Inc (ABNB.O) reversed a 5-month-outdated selection to quit listing attributes in the settlements.

Final July, Ben & Jerry’s explained it would stop sales in the occupied West Lender and sections of East Jerusalem, and sever its a few-decade connection with Zinger. read through additional

Israel condemned the go, and some Jewish teams accused Ben & Jerry’s of anti-Semitism. Some investors, including at least 7 U.S. states, divested their Unilever holdings. study additional

Unilever has extra than 400 brands including Dove soap, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Knorr soup and Vaseline pores and skin lotion.

Ben & Jerry’s was established in a renovated gasoline station in 1978 by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield.

No more time included in Ben & Jerry’s functions, they wrote in the New York Periods past July that they supported Israel but opposed its “unlawful profession” of the West Financial institution.

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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel and Jessica DiNapoli in New York Modifying by Monthly bill Berkrot and Himani Sarkar

Our Expectations: The Thomson Reuters Have faith in Principles.

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