Unilever's (UL) Ragu brand is attracting interest from Hormel Foods (HRL) and J.M. Smucker (SJM), Bloomberg reports, with Pinnacle Foods (PF), Hillshire Brands (HSH), Post Holdings (POST) and Japanese grocery supplier Mizkan also eying the pasta sauce.
First round bids for Ragu, which could bring in up to $2B, are due in at the end of this week.
The auction adds to Unilever's sale of other famous food brands such as Skippy peanut butter last year. Ragu makes up 40% of the company's pasta-sauce sales of $1.2B and is the U.S. market leader, but revenue has fallen 18% since 2009.