ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. Unilever, whose hair care brands include Dove, Suave and Sunsilk, is stepping into the premium hair care business by agreeing to buy the TIGI professional hair product business and its supporting education academies for $411.5 million in cash.
"We already have a strong position in daily hair care and adding the salon brands will further our position in the hair category. We can bring our world-class R&D expertise to it and offer greater opportunity for geographical expansion. TIGI's strength in styling, and its fashion and beauty expertise will also help us raise the bar on innovation for our existing hair brands," stated Vindi Banga, Unilever president of foods, home and personal care.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed by the end of March.
Upon completion of the transaction, TIGI will operate as a stand-alone global business unit within Unilever, reporting to Michael Polk, president of Unilever Americas.
TIGI's major brands include Bed Head, Catwalk and S-Factor. TIGI, which launched in 1986, has operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and Australia. It employs about 550 people and, in 2008, generated worldwide sales of approximately $250 million, with nearly half coming from the United States.
The transaction does not include the Toni & Guy salon business.
TIGI has been owned and run by Bruno, Guy and Anthony Mascolo, creators of Toni & Guy ‹ with their brother Toni — who are CEO, chairman and worldwide creative director of TIGI, respectively. As part of an exclusive consulting agreement with Anthony and Bruno, Anthony will continue to work in the business in his creative role and Bruno will continue to be an advisor.