Unilever has reportedly revived efforts to sell some of its non-core beauty and personal care brands. The consumer goods conglomerate hired Morgan Stanley and Evercore to sell the brand portfolio called Elida, which includes Q-Tips, Caress, TIGI, Timotei, Monsavon, St. Ives, Zwitsal, Ponds, Brut, Moussel, Alberto Balsam, and Matey. According to Reuters' sources, the brands collectively generated about $760 million in revenue in 2022.
In 2021, Unilever worked with Credit Suisse on a planned divestment of the Elida portfolio, but the offers received from CPG conglomerates didn't meet valuation expectations. Since withdrawing from the process, Unilever has focused on establishing Elida as a stand-alone business unit, expanding the universe of prospective buyers to include private equity firms.
The potential divestment is the first significant move by Hein Schumacher, who took over as Unilever's Chief Executive in July with a focus on streamlining the business. The sources said Morgan Stanley and Evercore have contacted multiple parties to assess their interest in acquiring Elida, and the deal could be worth billions of dollars.
For the past two years, the consumer goods industry has struggled with inflation, leading to soaring costs as everything has become more expensive. Unilever has raised prices to offset the higher costs and initiated a review of its portfolio of non-core assets it can sell to raise cash.
In 2022, Unilever announced it would reposition the portfolio into higher growth categories and streamline the business, which saw 50,000 SKUs removed from its Personal Care division and more than 60 local brands delisted. This included the sale of Suave to Boston-based private equity firm Yellow Wood Partners.
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