Unilever’s acquisition of Alberto-Culver to boost company’s local, int’l presence
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands —In a move that wasn’t exactly a surprise to many industry observers, Unilever announced plans to acquire Alberto-Culver for $3.7 billion in cash, a deal that significantly will boost Unilever’s hair care portfolio.
Alberto-Culver’s TRESemme and Nexxus styling and conditioning brands will complement Unilever’s Suave, Dove and Sunsilk. The deal makes Unilever the world’s leading company in hair conditioning, the second-largest in shampoo and the third-largest in styling, Unilever stated. It significantly enhances Unilever’s hair care presence in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Australia. In skin care, Alberto-Culver’s portfolio includes such brands as St. Ives and Simple.
The news of the acquisition was not unexpected. In August 2009, Morgan Stanley analyst Dara Mohsenian stated in a research note, “Alberto’s relatively less-efficient [selling, general and administrative expense] cost structure could offer cost synergies to a hypothetical acquirer. Alberto has U.S. scale that some international companies lack, as well as international distribution expansion potential that a number of companies could capitalize upon. Alberto has a healthy balance sheet, which could be attractive in the context of a consolidating industry.”
Unilever has stated that the acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to deliver significant synergies and, excluding restructuring costs, will be accretive to EPS in the first full year.
Alberto generated sales of nearly $1.6 billion and EBITDA of more than $250 million for the 12-month period ended June 30. It has operations in nine countries, six manufacturing facilities and employs roughly 2,700 people.
P&G unites innovation with value for multipronged campaign
NEW YORK In response to a national survey, which found that many women often are disappointed with their purchase of household products and desire more product innovation, Procter & Gamble has developed the multipronged “Have You Tried This Yet?” campaign as a way to highlight the manufacturer’s newer, more unique products. As part of the campaign, P&G opened to the public on Oct. 22 an interactive pop-up store in New York to drive awareness and product trials.
(Click here to view photos of P&G’s New York pop-up store.)
The temporary store, located at 101 West 57th St. near Sixth Avenue, will be open through Oct. 31, offering consumers free demonstrations and product samples from such brands as Olay, CoverGirl, Febreze, Charmin, Pringles, Bounty and Tide.
“What you are seeing here is a few of the products that really have a lot of consumer appeal and are, from a performance and a value standpoint, beneficial to the consumer,” Nataraj Iyer, P&G’s associate marketing director of multibrand commercial innovation, said during a special media preview event the evening of Oct. 21. “The key is we are trying to make sure that the consumers understand the performance of the products because she has indicated to us, through surveys and so forth, that she finds it very difficult to find new products and why she should change. So one of the ideas of bringing all of these things together is to really bring together these innovations.”
The event also included brief presentations by Michelle Callahan, a TV host, relationship expert, coach and developmental psychologist; Rolanda Johnson, a P&G Beauty scientist who is responsible for working with dermatologists and clinicians; and Kimberly Danger, the creator of Mommysavers.com, frugal expert and author.
When browsing the pop-up store, consumers will find a variety of interactive stations including, but not limited to:
- AClairol Nice’n Easy station where they can learn about the line and even schedule an appointment for a free hair coloring at the pop-up store;
- A Crest 3D White station where they can see computer-generated before-and-after photos of their teeth when using the Crest 3D White teeth whitening system;
- A skin care station where consumers can test the luminosity of their skin and discover the benefits of Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum;
- A makeup station where beauty mavens can get a makeover using CoverGirl products, including CoverGirl Clean Makeup;
- A station where consumers can discover the benefits of using the Bounce Dryer Bar and Tide Stain Release In-Wash Booster.
There also are several computers located in the store so consumers can sign up to receive samples, coupons and product reviews via PGtryit.com, as well as visit the eStore, which sells P&G brands.
Overall, the campaign brings together 18 different products, from across a range of categories, which have been launched in the past 16 to 18 months. Aside from the pop-up store, the campaign also includes direct-response TV, newspaper advertisements and direct-to-consumer mailings that will reach about 10 million consumers. The campaign also will be supported in P&G’s BrandSaver coupon booklet, which reaches 57 million households and offers more than $113 in savings.
Patrick Bridges joins Freeman Beauty Labs
LOS ANGELES Freeman Beauty Labs, whose brands include Vita-K skin care, Psssst! instant dry shampoo and Freeman Papaya hair care, has hired Patrick Bridges as its new SVP sales.
In his role, Bridges will continue to build and manage the sales department across most major mass channels in the United States, as well as in such international markets as Russia, the Netherlands and the Middle East.
Bridges joins Freeman Beauty Labs from Bionorica. As VP marketing and sales there, Bridges was responsible for developing a business strategy in the mass and natural channels for the U.S. subsidiary of the $200 million German phyto-pharmaceutical company. Prior to Bionorica, Bridges served as the general manager and director of the Ester-C business unit at NBTY, a provider of dietary supplements.