Unilever close to Accenture deal

Consumer packaged goods giant Unilever is on the verge of awarding a £500 million outsourcing contract to management consultancy Accenture.

Reports in The Times suggest that Unilever will sign a deal with Accenture to outsource back-office functions in human resources, learning and procurement.

The contract is expected to be finalised by the middle of March.

The Anglo-Dutch group is undergoing a period of significant corporate restructuring. Historically, it has managed its entire operational infrastructure in-house. 

But amid fierce competition within the market, its management team have reviewed operations across the board – even to the extent of selling off some divisions.

Last year, it asked both Accenture and IBM to assess the feasibility of taking on its finance, HR, learning and IT operations and moving those operations to the cheaper destinations of Eastern Europe and India.

At the time, company representatives said that it was assessing the option of outsourcing services, keeping them in-house or using a combination of both.

The latest contracts are could result in the loss of up to 2,500 jobs across Europe. Unilever currently employs 234,000 people in around 100 countries.

In December 2005, Unilever signed a seven year deal outsourcing deal with IBM covering its financial department in Europe.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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