September 25, 2009

Sara Lee personal care unit sold

Multinational health and hygiene conglomerate Unilever said it would purchase U.S. Sara Lee Corp.'s personal care division for $1.9 billion in cash.

Unilever, a joint British and Dutch corporation -- maker of Dove soap and Axe deodorant -- said the purchase was subject to regulatory approval. The division it is acquiring earns $1.1 billion in annual sales, Unilever said.

Unilever Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman said the deal builds on our portfolio in Western Europe and also in Asia.

The Sara Lee brands enjoy strong consumer recognition, offer significant growth potential and are an excellent fit with Unilever's existing business, he said.

Sara Lee Chief Executive Brenda Barnes said Friday that the company has received significant interest in the remainder of its household business, reported.

Sara Lee was interested in further divestment, said.