CHURCH & DWIGHT TO BUY UNILEVER'S ORAL-CARE BRANDS

$104 Million Deal Includes Mentadent, Pepsodent and Aim

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Unilever has agreed to sell its U.S. and Canadian oral-care brands to Church & Dwight Co., maker of Arm & Hammer oral-, personal- and home-care products, the companies said today.

$104 million cash payment
The deal, expected to close in the

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fourth quarter, covers Mentadent toothpaste and toothbrushes, Pepsodent and Aim toothpaste and exclusive licensing rights to Close-Up toothpaste, which had combined sales of $61 million in the U.S. and Canada through the first six months of 2003. Unilever will receive $104 million in cash plus additional payments of $5 million to $12 million depending on how the brands perform for Church & Dwight.

The brands will help more than double Church & Dwight's oral-care sales. "Although this business has been in decline," Chairman-CEO Robert A. Davies III said in a statement, "we believe the brand equities remain strong, and the business can be revitalized through additional focus and support."

Other brands for sale
The oral-care sale follows Unilever's announcement last week to sell its Brut men's personal-care brand to Helen of Troy. Several other Unilever brands in the U.S. remain for sale, according to executives familiar with the situation, including Sunlight, Final Touch and Niagara home-care brands and Salon Selectives hair care.

A Unilever spokeswoman declined comment on the other brands.

Stronger market overseas
Unilever remains committed to its oral-care business outside the U.S. and Canada, where it holds leading or strong positions in many markets, the company said.

The U.S. oral-care brands have not had agency assignments in recent years under Unilever. Church & Dwight handles advertising in-house, with several agencies handling project work, including Joey Co., Brooklyn, New York.

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