Unilever expands hair care business with Alberto-Culver acquisition
LONDON and ROTTERDAM, Netherlands Unilever is significantly boosting its hair care portfolio by acquiring Alberto-Culver for $3.7 billion in cash.
Alberto-Culver’s TRESemme and Nexxus styling and conditioning brands will complement Unilever’s Suave, Dove and Sunsilk. The deal makes Unilever the world’s leading company in hair conditioning, the second-largest in shampoo and the third-largest in styling. It significantly enhances Unilever’s 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 skin care, Alberto-Culver’s portfolio also includes such brands as St. Ives and Simple.
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to deliver significant synergies and, excluding restructuring costs, will be accretive to EPS in the first full year.
"Personal care is a strategic category for Unilever and growing rapidly. Ten years ago it represented 20% of our turnover, strong organic growth has driven it now to reach over 30%, with strong positions in many of the emerging markets," stated Paul Polman, Unilever CEO. "Organic growth remains the cornerstone of energizing ambition to double the size of Unilever whilst reducing overall environmental impact. Bolt-on acquisitions, such as Alberto-Culver, supplement organic growth and add powerful new brands to our portfolio."
Alberto-Culver generated sales of nearly $1.6 billion and EBITDA of more than $250 million for the 12-month period ended June 30. It has operations in nine countries, six manufacturing facilities and employs roughly 2,700 people.
Combe Inc. founder dies at 94
GREENWICH, Conn. Mary Elizabeth Deming Combe, who founded health and beauty care company Combe Inc. in 1949 with her husband, passed away at her home on Sept. 20. She was 94.
In 1938, Combe graduated from Ohio State University and married the late Ivan Combe. Eleven years later, they founded Combe Inc. and built it into one of the largest privately owned health and beauty care companies in the country. The team created such well-known brands as Clearasil, Just For Men hair color and Odor-Eaters.
An artist since her youth and a Fine Arts major, Combe expressed her passion for flowers in the paintings that she did throughout her life, and her love for art extended to helping others find the art in themselves. Her philanthropy helped support Vermont’s Manchester Music Festival and the Long Trail School Arts Program, as well as music and arts programs in Greenwich and New York.
In 2000, Combe and her husband funded Camp Combe, a YMCA camp for children in Westchester and Putnam Counties, N.Y. She also served on the Round Hill Community Church board and the Ohio Northern University board, and was past president of Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority of Westchester.
She is survived by her three children — Diana Bickford, Juliette Larson and Christopher Combe — six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren, and her friends and caregivers, Stephanie Davenport and Angelica Maldonado.
A memorial service will be held on Sept. 28 at 4 p.m. at Round Hill Community Church, 395 Round Hill Rd., Greenwich, Conn. Donations in Combe’s memory may be sent to Heart Care International, 139 East Putnam Ave., Greenwich, Conn. 06830. Heart Care International funds U.S. doctor-directed pediatric heart surgery in Central America.
Neutrogena Cosmetics study: Women opt for natural look, flawless skin
LOS ANGELES A new national survey commissioned by Neutrogena Cosmetics suggested a trend toward a less "made up" look for American women. Women expected their cosmetics to deliver flawless skin and sun protection, above fashion-forward colors, according to the findings.
Executed by Harris Interactive, the survey explored the relationship American women have with their cosmetics. It was conducted online within the United States from Aug. 9 to 11, among 1,018 adult women ages 18 years and older.
Among the Neutrogena Cosmetics survey highlights:
- When asked if they could only own one cosmetic product, more than half of young women (58%) said they wanted a product that delivers flawless skin tone;
- More than two-thirds of women (68%) said they would be willing to give up something for a year to have flawless skin — even chocolate (51%);
- Nearly half of women (46%) said they view using or wearing cosmetic products and makeup as an extension of their overall skin care routine; and
- More than half of women (56%) said they rely on cosmetics with SPF to provide protection from harmful UV rays.
Although flawless skin tone was the leading response for all women (58%), more than half (51%) of older women — those ages 55 and older — reported the key benefit they wanted is to minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles. However, regardless of age, these skin-related benefits were chosen ahead of more traditional cosmetic benefits, including elongate lashes (8%), make lips look full (3%) and cheekbone definition (2%).
"The survey confirmed the desires we hear from women to provide more advanced cosmetic solutions that improve their complexion and help achieve that flawless look. While color cosmetics add drama, we’re thrilled to see women embracing their own beauty and choosing products that work harder to help deliver a perfect complexion," stated Cara Robinson, group brand director for Neutrogena Cosmetics.
Even as women embrace the natural look, makeup application remains an integral part of many women’s morning routines. Nearly half (42%) said if they had to choose between makeup and breakfast when pressed for time before work, they would choose to apply makeup.
Women also recognized the dangers of UV rays and looked to their cosmetics to help prevent future skin damage. The majority of women (56%) said they wear cosmetic products and makeup with SPF protection, and older women are more likely to wear SPF cosmetic products and makeup year round (72% vs. 50%).