Advanced Research Acquisition Follows $2.9 Billion Dial Deal

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) --Germany's Henkel made its second U.S. acquisition in as many weeks today as it agreed to buy Advanced Research Laboratories, marketer of the got2Be and Citre Shine hair-care brands, for $250 million.

Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Advanced Research projects sales of $133 million in 2003 after several years of double-digit sales growth for its fashion-oriented and ethnic hairstyling products, Henkel said.

Acquired Dial
Henkel agreed to purchase Dial Corp.,

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maker of Dial personal care products and Purex detergent, Dec. 15 for $2.9 billion in a deal subject to shareholder and regulatory approval. Dial has total sales of $1.3 billion.

Combined with Henkel's Dep and L.A. Looks brands, the addition of Advanced Research pushes Henkel past L'Oreal to become No. 3 in the U.S. hair-styling aids market behind Unilever and Procter & Gamble Co.

Gain for DDB?
The deal could be a pickup for Henkel's global agency, Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, whose Los Angeles office currently handles Dep and L.A. Looks. A Henkel spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

Henkel was unsuccessful earlier this year in a bid to acquire fellow German hair-care maker Wella when P&G gained control of 80% of the company. Henkel, which also owns the Schwarzkopf brand marketed primarily in Europe, later sold its minority stake in Wella to P&G.

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