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Clorox to sell auto care businesses

BY Allison Cerra

OAKLAND, Calif. Clorox is looking to sell its global auto care businesses, which include such brands as Armor All and STP, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $780 million.

The business will be sold to an affiliate of Avista Capital Partners, Clorox said. The transaction  — in which the buyer will acquire the worldwide rights to distribute the market-leading Armor All and STP brands, as well as two auto care manufacturing facilities — is expected to close by the end of this calendar year.

"We believe this transaction is in the best interest of shareholders as we seek to reshape our portfolio," said Clorox chairman and CEO Don Knauss. "As we have acknowledged in the past, our auto care business does not align as strongly with our strategy to focus on key consumer megatrends, such as health and wellness and sustainability. The auto care brands hold leading market-share positions, and we’re pleased to have identified a new growth-oriented owner who will continue to work with the talented auto care team to build on this strong foundation."

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P&G’s Children’s Safe Drinking Water program to aid Pakistan flood victims

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble’s not-for-profit program is teaming up with the U.S. State Department’s Pakistan Relief Fund.

P&G said its Children’s Safe Drinking Water program will provide 28 million PUR water treatment packets to help flood victims in Pakistan. The program utilizes PUR packets, a water-purifying technology developed by P&G and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to help reduce sickness and death resulting from drinking contaminated water. One small PUR packet quickly turns 10 liters of dirty, potentially deadly water into clean, drinkable water.

"P&G’s commitment to help in times of natural disasters is how we fulfill P&G’s purpose to touch and improve lives," said Bob McDonald, P&G chairman, president and CEO. "P&G is eager to bring clean drinking water to the people of Pakistan by partnering with USAID and the U.S. State Department’s Pakistan Relief Fund so that our many partners in Pakistan can provide more than a quarter of a billion liters of clean drinking water."

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Mintel: Whole grains gain momentum in food, beverage sector

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO More than 3,700 products boasting a "whole grain" claim have launched in the United States since 2005, according to a new report by Mintel.

Since 2005, the whole grain product claim consistently has been in the top 20 among all food and beverage claims, Mintel noted in its global new products database. Furthermore, the share of all products with whole grain claims consistently has risen since that time. In 2005, just 2.3% of all new product launches had a whole grain claim, whereas in 2010, this has grown to 5.6%. Many products with a whole grains claim are stamped by the Whole Grains Council, which has put its logo on more than 4,400 products in the United States and 20 other countries.

"While sales of these products are still small, there are a lot of good signs for the whole grain market," said Mintel senior analyst David Browne. "Nearly 6% of all food products and 18% of all-natural food products launched in 2010 have the whole grain claim. Innovations in unexpected places, including beverages and dairy products, will also drive sales."

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