Top Companies Report

The Top 50 Report

July 11, 2011

M&A Activity Heats Up

The economy rebounded strongly last year and so too did merger and acquisition activity. When you start flipping through The Top 50, you may be surprised at the companies and brands that have changed hands during the past year. The biggest, and perhaps the most inscrutable, is also the most recent. In June, Sealed Air agreed to acquire Diversey Holdings in a $4.3 billion deal that is aimed to add sales to emerging-market food processors who are concerned about product safety. Sealed Air, a maker of protective packaging, chose Diversey because it’s the No. 1 player in food-safety related products in emerging markets, according to Sealed Air CEO William Hickey. Maybe, but bubble wrap and I&I cleaners doesn’t appear to be a perfect fit. The purchase of Sturtevant, WI-based Diversey is the largest of at least 28 acquisitions of soap and cleaning preparation companies for which financial terms were disclosed in the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Of course, there’s been plenty of acquisition activity on the personal care side of the business as well. For the past couple of years, Sara Lee has been cutting its exposure to household and personal care by selling such well-known brands as Ambi-Pur and Sanex—all in an effort to concentrate on its core food business. But as we went to press, Sara Lee was said to be an acquisition target of Smithfield Foods Inc., owner of the world’s biggest hog slaughterhouse. Smithfield execs are said to be licking their chops over the thought of adding brands like Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and Ball Park to their cupboard.

But enough about cold cuts…let’s get back to cosmetics and personal care. The Top 50, our annual look at the leading US companies in the household and personal products industry, has been transformed by acquisitions such as Unilever’s $3.7 billion acquisition of Alberto-Culver, Sanofi’s purchase of Chattem for $1.9 billion and Coty’s estimated $1 billion purchase of OPI. At the same time, several brands have changed hands; such as Combe’s multi-brand sale to Reckitt Benckiser and Blistex.

Bigger deals may be on the horizon. Just last month, rumors were floating around the internet about a possible (and preposterous) acquisition of Unilever by P&G! To keep up with the tips, trends and takeovers, keep reading Happi and To catch up on what’s happened in the past 12 months or so in our industry, take a look at The Top 50 on the following pages. Finally, to learn more about the multibillion companies in our industry with headquarters outside the US, firms such as L’Oréal, Shiseido and, of course, Unilever, be sure to read The International Top 30, which is published next month.

The Top 50

1. Procter & Gamble Cincinnati, OH $64.6 billion

2. Colgate-Palmolive New York, NY $13.3 billion

3. SC Johnson Racine, WI $8.8 billion

4. Avon New York, NY $7.7 billion

5. Estée Lauder New York, NY $7.7 billion

6. Johnson & Johnson New Brunswick, NJ $7.2 billion

7. AmwayAda, MI $5.7 billion

7. Ecolab St. Paul, MN $5.7 billion

9. Coty New York, NY $3.8 billion

10. Diversey Sturtevant, WI $3.1 billion

11. Limited Brands Columbus, OH $2.7 billion

12. Clorox Oakland, CA $2.6 billion

13. Mary Kay Addison, TX $2.5 billion

14. Church & Dwight Princeton, NJ $2.1 billion

15. Sun Products Wilton, CT $2.0 billion

16. Alberto-Culver Melrose, IL $1.5 billion

17. Revlon New York, NY $1.3 billion

18. Elizabeth Arden Miramar, FL $1.1 billion

18 Guthy-Renker Palm Desert, CA $1.1 billion

20. Nu Skin Provo, UT $914 million

21. Blyth Greenwich, CT $900 million

22. Tupperware Orlando, FL $737 million

23. Yankee Candle Deerfield, MA $734 million

24. John Paul Mitchell Systems Beverly Hills, CA $590 million

25. Merck Whitehouse Station, NJ $580 million

26. Zep Atlanta, GA $568 million

27. Jafra Westlake, CA $521 million

28. Energizer St. Louis, MO $460 million

28. Inter Parfums New York, NY $460 million

30. Markwins City of Industry, CA $450 million

31. Shaklee Pleasanton, CA $350 million

32. Prestige Brands Irvington, NY $336 million

32. Chattem Chattanooga, TN $336 million

34. WD-40 San Diego, CA $321 million

35. Combe White Plains, NY $250 million

36. American International Los Angeles, CA $200 million

36. Philosophy Phoenix, AZ $200 million

38. Seventh Generation Burlington, VT $150 million

39. Turtle Wax Willowbrook, IL $147 million

40. Phoenix Brands Stamford, CT $140 million

41. Hydroxatone Jersey City, NJ $139 million

42. Gojo Akron, OH $135 million

43. Herbalife Los Angeles, CA $127 million

44. Dermalogica Carson, CA $125 million

45. Parlux Fort Lauderdale, FL $123 million

46. Spartan Maumee, OH $118 million

47. Obagi Long Beach, CA $112 million

48. Method San Francisco, CA $110 million

49. Murad El Segundo, CA $106 million

50. State Cleveland, OH $105 million