Unilever completes Sara Lee deal

€1.21bn transaction sees Sara Lee withdrawal from C&T

Unilever has completed its acquisition of Sara Lee’s global body care and European detergents businesses for €1.21bn. The European Competition Authorities approval was contingent upon the divestiture of the Sanex brand in the European Economic Area, agreed by Unilever last month, and the Sara Lee brands which will be acquired generated annual sales in excess of €750m for the year ending June 2009.

For Sara Lee this transaction is part of an ongoing process of divesting its household and body care businesses. In addition to this latest deal the company has announced and closed transactions for its air care business (sold to Procter & Gamble for €320m) and its stake in the Indian insecticides joint venture Godrej Sara Lee (sold to Godrej for €185m). In addition, the pending sale of Sara Lee ‘s non-Indian insecticides business to SC Johnson for €153.5m is expected to close by the end of 2010.

Sara Lee says it is continuing to pursue divestiture options for the remainder of its household business and says it has received significant interest in its primarily shoe care and Asian cleaning brands.

"The divestiture of our body care and European detergents businesses further enables us to concentrate our efforts in key areas where we have a strong competitive position and can generate significant shareholder value," said Marcel Smits, interim ceo of Sara Lee Corp.

Unilever has said its existing Dove, Axe and Rexona brands will complement those being acquired from Sara Lee.

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