The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group, Unilever, has said it is to sell four brands to the investment companies, CDC Ixis-Service Industrie and ElectroPar France.

Included in the sale are two chocolate drink brands, Banania and Benco. The other two are potted dessert brands. The four have combined sales of €40m.

The sale is part of Unilever's Path-to-Grow strategy aimed at reducing its brand portfolio from the 1,600 it had in February 2000 when the programme was initiated, to 400 leading brands by the end of 2004.