Colgate-Palmolive acquires Sanex from Unilever

NEW YORK — Colgate-Palmolive is bolstering its foothold in the European personal care market by acquiring from Unilever the Sanex personal care brand for about $940 million.

Sanex is a multicategory personal care brand with 2010 net sales of about $260 million, primarily in western Europe. Liquid body cleansing and deodorants each represent nearly 50% of the business.

The deal is structured as an all-cash acquisition for shares and net assets. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter this year.

In connection with the acquisition, Colgate has agreed to sell its laundry detergent business in Colombia to Unilever for $215 million.

"The Sanex acquisition and the divestment of our detergent business in Colombia are both consistent with Colgate's ongoing strategy to de-emphasize noncore portions of our portfolio while focusing on our high-market, strategically important oral care, personal care and pet nutrition businesses," stated Ian Cook, Colgate's chairman, president and CEO.

Cook noted that Sanex's positioning around skin is an ideal complement to Palmolive's natural extracts and skin care positioning, as well as to its Protex brand, which focuses on antibacterial protection for the skin.

The transactions are expected to have an accretive effect, on a combined basis, of about 4% on total company earnings in 2011 due entirely to the one-time gain on the detergent business sale and a positive effect on earnings in 2012 of about 1% from growth and efficiencies of the Sanex business.

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