Unilever aims to divest Impulse and other non-core beauty brands

By Julia Wray | Published: 22-Sep-2023

The FMCG giant is reportedly resuming the sales process for its Elida Beauty business, which also includes Timotei and St. Ives

Unilever is restarting the sales process for its Elida Beauty business. 

The UK-headquartered FMCG giant has reportedly onboarded investment banks Morgan Stanley and Evercore to revive the process it abandoned two years ago, revealed an article in Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Elida Beauty portfolio includes non-core Unilever beauty brands Impulse, Caress, Tigi, Timotei, Monsavon, St. Ives, Zwitsal, Ponds, Brut, Moussel, Alberto Balsam and Matey brands, as well as Q-Tips.

According to Reuters, Unilever worked with Credit Suisse in 2021 to divest the portfolio but pulled the process later that year. 

This was allegedly because cherry-picking of the brands for sale by other consumer companies resulted in offers that did not meet Unilever’s valuation expectations.

Since then, Unilever has worked to make Elida Beauty an autonomous unit under the mission statement ‘refounding iconic brands for the many’.

Under Unilever’s 2022 business model restructure, Elida Beauty forms part of its Personal Care business group, alongside its skin cleansing, oral care and deodorants brands. 

A sale of Elida Beauty would mark the first major move by Unilever’s new CEO, Hein Schumacher, who took over the role in July.  

Earlier this year, Unilever divested American heritage brand Suave, selling it to Dr. Scholl's owner Yellow Wood Partners.

The sale followed Unilever’s 2022 announcement of plans to streamline its portfolio of brands and inventory, which saw 50,000 skus removed from its Personal Care division and more than 60 local brands delisted.

Cosmetics Business has reached out to Unilever for comment. 

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