Unilever Sells North American Laundry Biz to Vestar

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Unilever Sells North American Laundry Biz to Vestar

09/10/2008
Unilever said yesterday that it has it sold its North American laundry business in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico to international private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners. Vestar will merge the business with its existing operation, Huish Detergents, Inc., to create a new company, The Sun Products Corp.

The deal yielded Unilever an aggregate of about $1.45 billion, consisting of about $1.075 billion in cash, preferred shares in Sun Products with a face value of $375 million, and warrants offering the opportunity to acquire as much as 2.5 percent of the common equity of Sun Products.

The sale is part of the global CPG conglomerate's plans to get rid of nonstrategic brands with collectively over 2 billion euros in turnover.

Unilever's portfolio includes such iconic brands as Knorr, Lipton, Hellmann's, Breyer's, Dove, Lux, Pond's, Degree, Axe, Suave, and Sunsilk. Its U.S. division is in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.