Kimberly-Clark is seeking to license the Kleenex Velvet toilet tissue and Kleenex kitchen towels brands, as a means of skirting European Commission competition rules.
The initiative follows an EC ruling on the merger between Kimberly-Clark and Scott. The two companies will both have to divest key brands. The new licensee will be able to use the Kleenex name for a maximum of ten years. Kimberly-Clark will be allowed to use the brand again, but not until 15 years after the licensing deal.
Scott has been forced to part with its Scotties and Handy Andies brands of tissues. The EC was concerned the new group would have a 75 per cent share of the UK-branded toilet-tissue market and 50 per cent of kitchen towels, unless concessions were made.
Procter & Gamble may be interested, say sources.