Unilever agrees to sell prestige fragrance business to Coty

Unilever today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its global prestige fragrance business, Unilever Cosmetics International (UCI), to Coty Inc., of the United States.

Unilever will receive a consideration of $800 million in cash at the closing, with the opportunity for further deferred payments contingent upon future sales.

The business includes the perfume licenses for Calvin Klein, Cerruti, Vera Wang, Chloé and Lagerfeld, as well as a manufacturing and distribution centre in Mt. Olive, New Jersey, and a distribution centre in Lille, France. UCI employees will transfer to Coty with the business.

Sales for the global prestige fragrance business for 2004 were in excess of $600 million (€490m).

Patrick Cescau, CEO of Unilever said, “This is an excellent strategic move for Unilever and one that is fully in line with our strategy to focus on our core divisions. We are delighted that UCI’s strengths will complement those of Coty and will enable the brands to grow within a leading cosmetics and fragrance business.”

“This is truly an exciting day for Coty,” said Bernd Beetz, Chief Executive Officer of Coty Inc. “The acquisition of Unilever Cosmetics International and its leading brands will help to fuel Coty’s growth and will further strengthen Coty’s position in the beauty industry, making Coty a leader in the fragrance business.”

“We have enjoyed working with Unilever's current management team to improve and innovate the Calvin Klein fragrance portfolio,” said Mark Weber, President & COO, and incoming CEO, of Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation, the parent of Calvin Klein, Inc. “We have great expectations that the reinvigorated Calvin Klein fragrance portfolio will continue its strong momentum as part of Coty's organization and benefit from their expertise in the fragrance industry.”

The transaction is expected to be completed in the course of the coming months, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals and normal consultative procedures.

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