Church & Dwight to Buy Unilever's Oral Care Brands in U.S. and Canada

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Church & Dwight Co., Inc., the maker of Arm & Hammer baking soda, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Unilever's oral care brands in the United States and Canada. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2003, subject to regulatory approvals.

Church & Dwight will pay $104 million in cash at closing, plus additional cash performance-based payments of between $5 million and $12 million.

The purchase includes the Mentadent brand of toothpaste and toothbrushes, Pepsodent and Aim toothpaste, and exclusive licensing rights to Close-Up toothpaste. Sales of the business for the first six months of 2003 were $61 million.

"This transaction strengthens our strategically important oral care business, tripling our unit sales and more than doubling our dollar sales within the U.S. oral care sector," said Church & Dwight chairman and c.e.o. Robert A. Davies III. "We believe this acquisition is similar to the 2001 acquisitions of USA Detergents, which doubled our position in the laundry detergents business, and the consumer products business of Carter-Wallace, which more than doubled our position in the deodorant antiperspirant business."

"Although this business has recently been in decline, we believe the brand equities remain strong, and the business can be revitalized through additional focus and support," Davies added.

Davies also noted that, as an asset purchase, the company expects to be able to amortize the acquired trademarks and goodwill for tax purposes.

The company will shift the manufacture of the acquired toothpaste brands over the next 12 months to its plant at Lakewood, N.J., which specializes in manufacturing personal care products.
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