EU OKs Unilever’s Sara Lee deal

Unilever has completed the €1.2bn (£1.02bn) acquisition of Sara Lee’s bodycare business after gaining regulatory approval.


The FMCG company claims the acquisition of Sara Lee’s personal care and European laundry business, which includes the Radox brand, will “significantly strengthen” its position in the European bodycare market.

To satisfy the European Commission’s competition concerns, Unilever says it has agreed to “divest” Sara Lee’s Sanex brand in Europe.

The regulator had been concerned about the possible anti-competitive effects of the acquisition in some European territories. Sanex competes with Unilever brands Lynx, Dove and Rexona in many markets.

In a statement, Unilever says: “With this extended range, the business can cover a wider spectrum of price points and better meet the demands of more consumers in more markets.

“As a result, Unilever expects to be able to stimulate further growth in an intensely competitive market.”

The company says the acquired Sara Lee brands generated annual sales in excess of €750m (£636m) for the year ending June 2009.

In addition to Radox, the deal also includes personal care brands Duschdas and Neutral and oral care brand Zendium.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here