UNILEVER SELLS FOUR HOME-CARE BRANDS

Buyer Is Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Group

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Unilever today announced it has agreed to sell four small home-care brands for an undisclosed amount to Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Group.

Advertising Age magazine reported in

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April that Unilever had put the brands -- Sunlight dish detergent, Niagara ironing aids, Final Touch fabric softener and Rit dye -- up for sale, along with four oral-care brands sold earlier this year to Church & Dwight Co. Unilever said the brands, which had no agency assignments and have not had media support for several years, had sales of $107 million through the first nine months of 2003.

Regulatory approval
The banking group's acquisition of the brands is subject to regulatory approval.

The brands are among 110 Unilever has sold over the past four years as part of its "Path to Growth" restructuring, which has largely completed the process of cutting its global brand portfolio to 400 from the original 1,600 through a series of divestitures and brand consolidations.

Today's divestiture includes the Rit brand globally; Niagara in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and other global markets along with licensing arrangements in Central America and Mexico; Final Touch in the U.S., Canada and Mexico; and exclusive rights to Sunlight dishwash detergent in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

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