Reckitt Benckiser expected to make bid for Church & Dwight

A sale may be on the cards for the maker of Nair, Batiste and Pearl Drops

Shares in Church & Dwight, the parent company of Nair, Batiste and Pearl Drops, have soared as high as $107.36 (up 11%) today following rumours that a sale of the company might be in the offing.

Reports have been circulating that UK consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser is in the process of bidding for the personal care company, which is also the maker of Arm & Hammer and Trojan condoms. If Reckitt Benckiser does buy Church & Dwight it would make it a world leader in the condoms market, owning both Durex and Trojan.

Spanish website negocios.com reports that Reckitt Benckiser plans to offer $23bn for the company next week in a bid led by JP Morgan for 100% ownership of the company. Negocios.com did not reveal its sources, however. In earlier reports, P&G was also rumoured to be eyeing the company.

Church & Dwight released its Q1 2016 results earlier this month which showed organic sales growth of 5.2% and EPS of $0.86, a 7.5% increase on Q1 2015. The figures exceed the company’s forecasts and caused it to raise its full-year organic sales and gross margin outlook. Net sales grew by 4.5% or $36.7m to reach a total of $849m.

At the time, Matthew Farrell, CEO of Church & Dwight, said: “Innovation continues to be a big driver of our success. In support of our long term strategy to drive revenue and earnings growth, we have launched innovative new products across every one of our megabrands while continuing to support prior year launches.”

Reckitt Benckiser already owns a number of personal care brands including: E45, Veet, Clearasil and Scholl. It is currently under public pressure with regard to deaths linked to its Oxy Humidifier Sterlizers in South Korea.

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