Unilever prepares sale of personal-care brands with EUR 600m in sales

29 January 2021 - 01:20 pm UTC

by Min Ho in Hong Kong, and Barbara Pianese and Deane McRobie in London

  • Q-tips among assets for sale - source
  • Sources tip Credit Suisse for mandate
  • Sponsors seen as most likely buyers

Unilever is readying to sell some personal-care brands with a collective EUR 600m in annual revenue, several sources familiar with the situation told this news service.

 

The brands on the block include cotton-bud brand Q-tips, one of the sources said. Timotei shampoo and Radox shower gel may also be included, another source said.

 

The assets for sale have between EUR 100m and EUR 150m in EBITDA on their EUR 600m in sales, according to two of the sources. Their total EV should be between EUR 1bn and EUR 1.5bn, one of the sources said.

 

Credit Suisse is in pole position for the mandate on the disposal, three of the sources said. Credit Suisse declined to comment.

 

Unilever was reported to be exploring options last February for its Health and Personal Care unit, which as of 3Q20 had TTM sales of EUR 21.5bn, according to company reports. The sale process will begin in 1H21, one of the sources said, while another source said it could start as soon as this quarter.

 

Private equity funds are the most likely buyers, two of the sources said. Sponsors are better placed than strategics to run these low-growth brands, one of the sources said. Another source noted that a sponsor could use the portfolio as a platform onto which it might later bring other brands.

 

It is not yet clear whether Unilever will sell the brands piecemeal or else as a whole, although two of the sources said a “menu” option is possible, depending on the buyer.

 

Unilever declined to comment.