MULTINATIONAL consumer goods company Unilever has announced it has signed an agreement to buy US sustainable care products company Seventh Generation.
Unilever did not disclose the terms of the deal, only stating Seventh Generation’s turnover exceeded US$200m in 2015 and has seen annual growth over the last ten years. However, business media analysts estimate the purchase price to be between US$800m–1bn, subject to regulatory approvals.
Unilever said it is looking for “new ways” to connect with customers as Seventh Generation has a reputation for making “natural” products and “plant-based detergents”. Unilever already owns brands that have reputations for sustainability such as Ben & Jerry’s and Dove and is aiming to diversify that reputation.
Nitin Paranjpe, president of Unilever’s Home Care business, said: “Seventh Generation has long been…leading the industry in sustainable innovation while attracting new generations of conscious consumers. This addition to Unilever’s product portfolio will help us meet rising demand for high-quality products with a purpose.”
Unilever’s acquisition of the company known for making sustainable cleaning products and children’s nappies – coupled with completing its purchase of US razor and grooming product company Dollar Shave Club for US$1bn last month – places the company closer to markets dominated by Procter & Gamble (P&G).
Robert Waldschmidt, analyst at Liberum, told the FT: “Unilever is increasingly going into P&G’s categories. However, they have not gone after mainstream brands but ones with unique selling propositions that resonate with current consumer trends in e-commerce and sustainability.”
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