● Church & Dwight Co. has agreed to buy
the U.S. and Canadian oral care
brands of Unilever NV for $104 million,
plus additional performance-based
cash payments of between $5 million
and $12 million at a later date, company
executives said. The businesses,
which include Mentadent, Pepsodent
and Aim, and the exclusive licensing
rights to Close-Up toothpaste, posted
sales of $61 million during the first half
Unilever put the brands up for sale
as part of its strategy to focus more
closely on its top brands, including
Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
The company plans to keep its oral care
brands outside the U.S. and Canada,
Unilever executives said.
The deal should close in the fourth
quarter. It is expected to double Church
& Dwight’s oral care sales in the U.S.
Church & Dwight plans to move the
manufacturing of the acquired toothpaste
brands to its Lakewood, NJ plant
within the next year and will invest in
marketing the brands. Therefore,
Church & Dwight executives said the
acquisition may not add much to the
company’s earnings in its first year.
The Unilever brands have been in
decline, but the brand equities of the
products “remain strong,” Church &
Dwight executives said.