Unilever sells laundry products business

January 29, 2014

2 Min Read
Unilever sells laundry products business

Packaged-goods giant Unilever is selling its North American line of laundry products to a private equity firm. The line, which includes such big-selling brands as All, Wisk, and Snuggle, will be merged with Huish Detergents to create The Sun Products Corporation.

Huish is a leading manufacturer of detergents, fabric softeners, dish care and personal care products under private label names for major retailers. The company has been producing private label laundry detergent and household cleaners since 1976. In addition, they also market products under their own brand names, including Sun and White Rain.

“I have always felt that combining the strength of our company with an established branded business would bring the best of both worlds together,” said Huish’s founder and CEO, Dan Huish. “With the creation of Sun Products, this dream is finally coming true and I look forward to seeing what these two great businesses can accomplish together.”

The deal, valued at $1.45 billion, will consist of a cash payment of $1.075 billion, preferred shares of The Sun Products Corporation with a face value of $375 million, and warrants offering the opportunity to acquire up to 2.5 percent of the combined common equity in The Sun Products Corporation.

The US, Canada and Puerto Rico laundry business generated $1.0 billion in turnover for Unilever in 2007. The sale is part of Unilever’s previously announced plans to dispose of non-strategic brands with collectively more than €2 billion in turnover.

“We have reached a good deal for both Unilever shareholders and the business,” said Patrick Cescau, Unilever’s Group Chief Executive. “Laundry remains an important category for Unilever outside North America. This transaction will allow us to focus our resources on our leading positions in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America where we continue to drive for expanded leadership.”

The Sun Products Corporation will maintain offices in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Toronto, Canada. The merged company will have manufacturing facilities across the country including the current Unilever location in Baltimore, Maryland, which is part of this transaction.

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