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.

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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.

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