By  on December 17, 2009

Personal care companies have been a rare hot spot in a sluggish year for consumer products mergers and acquisitions.

According to a study of M&A activity this year through October by Robert W. Baird & Co.’s investment banking department, the biggest consumer goods deal of 2009 so far has been The Stanley Works’ acquisition of The Black & Decker Corp. for $4.5 billion. However, the second, third and fourth largest were all in the personal care field, topped by Unilever’s $1.88 billion acquisition of Sara Lee’s personal care business and followed by Unilever’s $412 million takeover of Tigi. Energizer Holdings’ $275 million acquisition of S.C. Johnson’s Edge and Skintimate brands was the fourth largest middle-market deal.

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