Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive exchange brands

Unilever is to buy Colgate-Palmolive’s laundry brands Fab, Lavomatic and Vel in Columbia for $215m (£132m), as part of its strategy to double the size of its business.

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It will also sell its global Sanex skincare brand to Colgate-Palmolive for €672m (£584m). Unilever was required to divest the Sanex brand in Europe under the terms of its deal to acquire the Sara Lee business last year.

Michael Polk, Unilever’s president of categories, says that the Fab, Lavomatic and Vel brands will “significantly enhance” Unilever’s position in the fast growing emerging Latin America market.

He adds: “Our focus is on bolt-on acquisitions that can strengthen our existing portfolio and geographic presence, and help Unilever move closer to achieving our overall ambition of doubling the size of the business.”

The deal follows the €1.2bn (£1.02bn) acquisition of the Sara Lee personal care and European laundry business, which Unilever says filled gaps in its personal care portfolio in Western Europe.

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