Fast moving consumer goods company Unilever on Friday said it would acquire the personal care business of U.S.-based Sara Lee Corporation for 1.27 billion euro ($1.88 billion) in cash to firm up its position in Western Europe and Asia.

In a statement Unilever said it had made a binding offer to acquire the personal care business of Sara Lee Corporation for 1.27 billion euro (over Rs. 9,000 crore) in cash.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and consultation with European employee works councils.

Unilever would add leading brands such as Sanex, Radox and Duschdas to its existing brands such as Axe, Dove, Lux, Pond’s, Rexona, Sunsilk among others in a move to strengthen its leadership in the skin cleansing and deodorants category.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to acquire such a strong stable of brands, which will help build on our global leadership positions in skin cleansing and deodorants. They are a perfect complement to Unilever’s existing portfolio of brands like Dove, Axe and Rexona,” Unilever President (Foods, Home and Personal Care) Vindi Banga said.

The acquisition would strengthen Unilever’s position in Western Europe. In addition, there is significant potential to build these brands in developing and emerging markets. “Personal care is a strategic category and a key growth driver for Unilever. This transaction builds on our portfolio in Western Europe and in Asia. The Sara Lee brands enjoy strong consumer recognition, offer significant growth potential and are an excellent fit with Unilever’s existing business,” Unilever Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman said. — PTI

The agency reports from New Delhi

No impact on Godrej

Unilever’s move to acquire the personal care division of Sara Lee will not have any impact on Godrej group’s joint venture with the American firm, Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej said here on Friday. Godrej, has now a joint venture, Godrej Sara Lee, with Sara Lee, where Godrej Industries and Godrej Boyce together hold 49 per cent stake. In July, Godrej had announced that it would buy out Sara Lee’s stake from the joint venture. Godrej Sara Lee is into personal and household brands like GoodKnight and HIT, besides Brylcream, Kiwi and Ambipur from the Sara Lee global portfolio.

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