On the surface, it appears to be good news in terms of job preservation.

International food conglomerate Unilever today (Jan. 3) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its global Skippy peanut butter business to Hormel Foods.

The cash transaction is valued at approximately $700 million.

Unilever owns Skippy manufacturing facilities in Little Rock, Ark., and Weifang, China and they are included in the deal.

“Skippy is an iconic brand with presence all around the world. As we continue to sharpen our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, we believe that the potential of the Skippy brand can now be more fully realized with Hormel Foods,” said Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions and is expected to close early in 2013.

UPDATE: Rick Williamson, a spokesman for Hormel Foods, provided this comment to our content partner, Fox 16 News, on the Little Rock plant sale.

“Hormel Foods intends to maintain current operations at the plant in Little Rock and welcomes the employees there to the Hormel Foods team,” said Williamson.