Unilever today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the U.S.-based Alberto Culver Company for US $3.7 billion.
According to Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, Alberto Culver's hair care brands TRESemmé, Nexxus and VO5 will complement Unilever's Dove, Suave, Sunsilk and Clear brands while its St. Ives and Simple skin care brands will complement Unilever's Pond's and Vaseline brands.
In a Unilever press release, the company states that the acquisition will make it the world’s leading company in hair conditioning, the second largest in shampoo and the third largest in styling, and significantly enhance its hair care presence in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Australasia, all of which will be significant hair care markets for years to come.
In an Alberto Culver press release, Carol Lavin Bernick, executive chairman of the company's board, noted "Viewing the global marketplace today, we believe that for these brands to achieve their full potential, they need to be able to compete in all major global markets. Given the resources this would require, our brands' chances for success are better served by being merged into a larger organization with an even larger global footprint than Alberto Culver's. We believe Unilever is such a company and we believe we are maximizing value for our shareholders through this agreement."
According to Unilever, it will use its scale, reach and technology to take Alberto Culver’s brands to a new level in existing markets and extend their presence to new emerging markets.
Alberto Culver has operations in nine countries, including the United States, Canada, Argentina, Mexico, the UK, South Africa and Australasia. It has six manufacturing facilities and employs around 2,700 people. Alberto Culver generated sales approaching US $1.6 billion for the year ending June 30, 2010.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval, approval of the Alberto Culver shareholders and other customary closing conditions. Neither company commented on the effect that this acquisition will have on Alberto Culver's corporate management and R&D teams.