Germany's Henkel to buy Spotless Group in $1.28-bn deal

HenkelGerman personal care consumer goods company Henkel AG & Company today struck a deal to buy French laundry and household cleaning products company Spotless Group SAS, in a €940 million ($1.28 billion) deal.

Henkel is buying Neuilly-sur-Seine, France-based Spotless from private equity firm BC Partners in a transaction valued at €940 million including debt.

Kasper Rorsted, CEO, HenkelBC Partners had acquired Spotless in 2010 from Axa Private Equity (now Ardian) for €640 million.

''This acquisition is part of Henkel's global strategy to selectively invest in attractive country category positions in mature markets", said Henkel CEO, Kasper Rorsted. ''By acquiring the Spotless Group, we will strengthen our market position and enter highly profitable growth segments.''

''The leading brands and technologies of the Spotless Group are a perfect fit for our portfolio with regard to business segments and regions and offer potential for future profitable growth,'' explained Bruno Piacenza, executive vice president and responsible for Henkel's Laundry and Home Care business.

Spotless operates mainly in the areas of laundry aids like laundry sheets, stain removers and fabric dyes, insect control and household care in Western Europe.

The company's leading brands include Eau Ecarlate, Dylon, Grey and Catch and holds leading market positions in European markets such as France, Italy, Spain, Benelux and the UK.

It employs about 470 people and generated sales of about €280 million in fiscal 2013.

Henkel operates worldwide with leading brands and technologies in three business areas: laundry and home care, beauty care and adhesive technologies.

Founded in 1876, Henkel holds globally leading market positions both in the consumer and industrial businesses with well-known brands such as Persil, Schwarzkopf and Loctite.

The Düsseldorf-based company, which competes with Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, L'Oréal, Bostik and H. B. Fuller, was founded in 1876 as Henkel & Cie by 28 year-old merchant Fritz Henkel.

The company now employs around 47,000 people worldwide, has a market cap of €34.9 billion and posted revenues of €16.4 billion in 2013.