Procter & Gamble is understood to be planning a pan-European launch for its US market-leading toilet tissue product Charmin. The launch will see P&G going head to head against the newly-merged Kimberly-Clark and Scott Paper, now known as Kimberly-Clark.
The brand would be positioned against Kimberly-Clark’s Andrex and Jamont’s Dixcel, as well as supermarket own-label products.
P&G acquired a large German paper company in 1994, its first entry into the $7bn (4.5 bn) European tissue market. It has a modest market presence there and in France, Spain and Italy but none in the UK.
The $9.4bn (6 bn) deal between Kimberly-Clark and Scott Paper was cleared by the European Commission after the two firms agreed to sell off Kimberly-Clark’s UK tissue mill in Prudhoe, and parts of its consumer tissue businesses in the UK and Ireland.
Industry sources say Kimberly-Clark and Scott Paper won’t sell any of its toilet tissue business to P&G.
One insider says: “The business will go to someone without the marketing resources of P&G. The toilet tissue brand Kleenex will then gradually disappear behind the weight of Andrex.”
See P&G Lenor story page 8