Business briefs: Spam firm spreads into peanut butter | Disasters bill tops £40bn for insurers | Essex retail park bought by Kames

Unilever, the consumer goods giant based in the UK and Netherlands, has agreed to sell its Skippy peanut butter business to US group Hormel Foods – owner of Spam – for about $700 million (£433m).

Skippy generates sales of about $370m a year.

Disasters bill tops £40bn for insurers

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Natural disasters cost insurers $65 billion (£40.2bn) last year, with the US accounting for 90 per cent of the bill and Superstorm Sandy prompting payouts of $25bn, according to Munich Re. However, the firm said total insured losses were down from a record $119bn in 2011, which saw an earthquake in New Zealand and a quake and tsunami in Japan.

Essex retail park bought by Kames

Kames Capital has bought the Clacton Factory Outlet retail park in Clacton on Sea, Essex, for the active value property fund in a £2.75 million deal.

The 120,000 square-foot retail park, which is anchored by Marks & Spencer, has a yield of about 9 per cent. The fund invests in properties between £3m to £10m.