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Either of two linked companies, Unilever PLC (based in London) and Unilever NV (based in Rotterdam). They are the holding companies for more than 500 firms worldwide that manufacture and sell soaps, foods, and other products. The modern Unilever was established in 1929 as an association between the British manufacturer Lever Bros. and several other European soap and margarine manufacturers. Today most Unilever sales are in household products, including soaps and detergents, margarines, cooking fats, dairy products, toiletries, and packaged and processed foods. The group also produces paper and plastic products, industrial chemicals, and animal feeds.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Unilever, visit Britannica.com.
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