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European Commission OKs sale of Sara Lee beauty, detergent businesses to Unilever

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — The European Commission has approved the sale of Sara Lee's global body care and European detergent businesses to Unilever, provided that Unilever divest the Sanex brand of bath and body products in the European market after it acquires the business from Sara Lee.

The global body care and European detergent businesses encompass such brands as Sanex, Radox and Duschdas. The transaction was originally announced in September.

In light of this requirement, the parties will make certain amendments to the share purchase agreement, including an adjustment in the purchase price from Euro 1.275 billion ($1.721 billion) to Euro 1.210 billion ($1.633 billion). The deal is expected to close in December.

Marcel Smits, interim CEO of Sara Lee, noted that the change in proceeds will have no effect on its capital plans, and it will continue with its plan to repurchase $2.5 billion to $3 billion of shares by the end of fiscal 2012.

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