BENCKISER SET TO BUY UNILEVER EUROPE UNIT
NEW YORK — Joh. H. Benckiser GmbH. is set to purchase Unilever’s European mass market makeup business.
The terms of the transaction, expected to be completed in April, were not disclosed. Most notably, Benckiser will acquire Rimmel-Chicogo, which has international rights to the Rimmel, Pierre Robert, Sensiq and Chicogo brands, along with production facilities in Ashford, England, and Erkrath, Germany.
Benckiser will also take over the license for the Cutex nail care brand in Europe and some other markets.
Together, the businesses that will change hands represent sales of more than $115.4 million (75 million pounds).
The major markets for the Rimmel and Chicogo brands are the UK, Germany and Italy. Pierre Robert is marketed in Scandinavia and Sensiq is marketed almost exclusively in the UK.
Benckiser recently reorganized its beauty businesses under its Coty holding company. Its mass market and selective brands had worldwide sales last year of $1.5 billion.
The company recently made a play for an American mass market franchise when it tried to acquire Maybelline but lost out to L’Oreal in a bidding war.
Meanwhile, Unilever will retain its prestige brands, which include Elizabeth Arden, Calvin Klein Cosmetics and Chesebrough-Pond’s. The company is also in the midst of acquiring Helene Curtis Industries Inc. for $70 a share, or $770 million.
Unilever’s personal products division had sales of $7 billion last year.
— Fairchild News Service