Unilever to acquire Russian beauty company Concern Kalina

LONDON — Unilever has agreed to acquire Russian beauty company Concern Kalina, which significantly will strengthen its foothold in skin care and hair care in Russia.

Unilever initially is acquiring 82% of Concern Kalina for approximately €390 million ($537 million). The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

Concern Kalina, which is based in Ekaterinburg, is Russia’s largest local personal care player with leading positions in skin and hair care. The company has an extensive distribution network and sells its products primarily in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

"We are delighted to be acquiring Concern Kalina. This will transform Unilever’s personal care business in Russia, giving us leading positions in skin care and hair care, as well as establishing a presence in oral care. It will also strengthen and rebalance Unilever’s portfolio and competitive position in Russia, an emerging market with considerable potential and one of our priority countries," stated Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever.

Personal care is a strategic category for Unilever that is rapidly growing. Ten years ago it represented 20% of group turnover at Unilever and strong organic growth has driven it to now reach more than 30%.

Alexander Petrov, CEO of Concern Kalina, added, “The coming together of our company with one of the most successful and best-known global companies represents a tremendous vote of confidence in the strength of our brands, the people who have built them and the potential of the Russian market. The combination with Unilever will also provide our employees with opportunities in one of the best companies in the world."

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