Unilever to buy Alberto Culver brands

Unilever is to buy personal care group Alberto Culver which owns the TRESemmé, VO5, and Simple brands in a deal that extends its hair and skin care portfolio.

The $3.7bn (£2.3bn) deal means Unilever, which already owns the Dove, Clear and Sunsilk brands, will now take on the Alberto Culver portfolio which also includes Nexxus, VO5 and St Ives.

Unilever says that the new brands will allow it to offer hair and skincare products that “cover more price points across categories” and claims that the deal makes it “the world’s leading company in hair conditioning, the second largest in shampoo and the third largest in styling”.

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, says the acquisition complements the FMCG company’s existing portfolio and “will help build on our strong global positions in both the hair care and skin care categories”.

Alberto Culver reported sales of $1.6bn (£1bn) and earnings of $250m (£158m) for the year ending 30 June 2010.

Alberto Culver acquired the Simple brand from private equity firm Duke Street for £240m earlier this year.

The deal also “significantly enhances” Unilever’s hair care business in the US, Canada, the UK, Mexico and Australasia.

Separately, PZ Cussons, which owns the Carex skin care brand has also bought sun care brand St Tropez from UK private equity group LDC for £62.5m.

The brand has a range of 30 sunless tanning products with 80% of sales coming from the UK. Australia and the US are growing markets for the brand.

Alex Kanellis, chief executive of PZ Cussons says the deal is “an excellent strategic opportunity” that offers good growth opportunities in the UK and overseas.

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