Unilever Sells Sanex to Colgate to Shed Weight Post Sara Lee Deal


On March 23, 2011, Colgate-Palmolive ( CL ) agreed to buy Unilever 's ( UL ) Sanex brand of personal care products for $954 million. The deal also includes Colgate selling its laundry detergent business in Colombia to Unilever for $215 million. As of now, both transactions are subject to regulatory approval. These two companies compete with consumer Proctor & Gamble ( PG ), Avon ( AVP ) and Kimberly-Clark ( KMB ).

What Does it Mean for Colgate-Palmolive?

  1. Colgate strengthens its personal care business in Europe with shower gels and deodorants marketed under the Sanex brand amounting to sales of over $265 million in 2010.
  2. The deal helps Colgate focus on the higher-margin personal care business amidst rising commodity costs affecting household care product segments.
  3. Colgate believes the transaction would increase earnings by 4% and improve margins by 1% by 2012. Also, a deal was imminent given Colgate's healthy cash position.

You can see a detailed analysis of our $88 Trefis price estimate of Colgate-Palmolive's stock, which is inline with the current market price. We estimate that personal care products like shampoos, soaps, lotions and deodorants make up around 44% of Colgate's stock value while oral care and pet nutrition make up the remainder accounting for 44% and 12% respectively.

What Does it Mean for Unilever?

  1. The sell-off of Unilever's deodorants and bath-care business in Europe was required on antitrust grounds for European Union's clearance of the $1.82 billion purchase of Sara Lee Corp's personal care business in 2010.
  2. The deal brings in Colgate's laundry brands such as Fab, Vel and Lavomatic improving Unilever's position in a significant Latin American market, Colombia.
  3. In line with its goal to double revenues within this decade, Unilever has been on an acquisition spree, having acquired Alberto-Culver and Sara Lee's personal care and European laundry care businesses in 2010.

Personal care items like shampoo, lotions, laundry detergents and deodorants make up just over 40% of Unilever's value by our estimates which exclude various food items and home cleaning products that make up the rest. You can see a detailed analysis of our $35 Trefis price estimate of Unilever's stock here , which is around 15% ahead of the current market price.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks , US Markets

Referenced Stocks: AVP , CL , KMB , PG , UL



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