EC scrutinises Unilever’s acquisition of Sara Lee

The number and breadth of brands involved in Unilever’s acquisition of Sara Lee’s Personal Care and European Laundry business has sparked a market by market analysis by the European Commission (EC).

Under the terms of the £1.275bn offer (£;1.16bn at the time in September), Unilever will acquire a portfolio of more than 90 brands, spanning several categories in 19 European countries. These include Radox, Brylcreem and Sanex.

The EC says it needs “more time” to determine the full implications of the deal from a competition perspective on particular European markets.
Unilever says it “welcomes the opportunity to engage more fully with the competition authorities”. The process will balance market interest with the company’s desire to maximise opportunities from the acquisition, says the company.

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