LONDON — Unilever is planning to exit the ice cream business. The most likely scenario will be through a spin off into a standalone company, but management said other options will be considered.

Separation of the business will begin immediately and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, according to the company.

With 2023 sales of €7.9 billion ($8.57 billion), Unilever’s ice cream business features such brands as Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum and Wall’s.

“Under new leadership, ice cream is already making significant operational changes at pace that are expected to drive stronger performance,” the company said. “These include improved productivity and efficiencies, product rationalization and investment behind significant innovations.

“As a standalone, more focused business, ice cream’s management team will have operational and financial flexibility to grow its business, allocate capital and resources in support of the company’s distinct strategy, including further optimizing its manufacturing and logistics network, and developing wide-reaching, flexible, distribution channels over and above the changes that are currently underway in the business.”

The company also said it is initiating a three-year productivity program that is expected to generate cost savings of approximately €800 million ($868 million). The cost savings program will help offset negative operational synergies from the separation of the ice cream business, according to the company.

“Simplifying our portfolio and driving greater productivity will allow us to further unlock the potential of this business, supporting our ambition to position Unilever as a world-leading consumer goods company delivering strong, sustainable growth and enhanced profitability,” said Hans Schumacher, chief executive officer.