Unilever Sells Finesse and Aqua Net

U.K.'s Lornamead Continues to Pick Up Orphaned Brands

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Unilever has sold its Finesse and Aqua Net hair-care brands in the U.S. and Canada to U.K. personal and home-care marketer Lornamead Brands for an undisclosed figure.
Finesse and Aqua Net generated $85 million in combined revenue in 2005.
Finesse and Aqua Net generated $85 million in combined revenue in 2005.

The brands generated $85 million in combined revenue for 2005. Unilever retains control of Aqua Net in Latin America, where it's a leading styling brand in Mexico. The deal doesn't include Salon Selectives, another hair-care brand that has lost most of its distribution and was among brands Unilever sought to sell, according to people familiar with the matter.

Reshaping hair-care portfolio
"This agreement takes us a step further in reshaping our hair-care portfolio of brands in North America," John Rice, president of Unilever Americas, said in a statement. "It will enable us to focus on bringing innovation to market through our strong local and global brands."

Finesse and Aqua Net had been low priorities for Unilever in hair care since the 2003 launch of Dove in the category. The company is preparing to launch another new brand, Sunsilk, into the U.S. this summer. Finesee and Aqua Net did not have ad agency assignments.

The deal is the second orphan-brand acquisition this year for privately held Lornamead, which earlier this year acquired Yardley from Procter & Gamble Co. Though Yardley has some U.S. distribution, the deal gives Lornamead, launched in 1978 originally to represent marketers in Africa, a bigger foothold in North America.
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