Benckiser splits in preparation for stock market float

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LUDWIGSHAFEN -- The Benckiser Group is to split its activities into two separate groups. The health & beauty and fragrance business will be headquartered in New York as Coty Inc. and the cleanser, detergent and softener business will be based in Amsterdam under the Benckiser N.V. name.

Chairman Peter Hart intends to offer the Coty Inc shares on the New York Stock Exchange as early as this spring. Benckiser N.V. shares will be offered on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange by yearend.

Benckiser's total 1996 sales amounted to $3.3bn; the cleanser and detergent business contributed $1.75bn and the health & beauty business $1.56bn.

The Ludwigshafen-based Joh. A. Benckiser headquarters will become a family holding without any operating activities. It is planned, however, that the family will remain the main shareholder.

Benckiser's entire ad spend outside the U.S. was $210m in 1995, according to Advertising Age International figures.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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