Unilever to buy privately-held Seventh Generation for a reported $700 mn

Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant Unilever Plc yesterday struck a deal to buy privately-held Seventh Generation, a US-based home and personal care products company.

Unilever did not disclose financial terms of the deal, but said that Seventh Generation's annual turnover was over $200 million in 2015 and the company had double-digit compounded annual growth over the last 10 years.

Citing a person familiar with the terms, The Wall Street Journal said that Unilever, the maker of Dove soaps and Axe body spray, paid around $700 million for Seventh Generation.

The move comes barely a few days after media reports said that Unilever was in talks to buy California-based Honest Co, the consumer-products retailer co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, in an over $1-billion deal. (See: Unilever in talks to buy consumer-products retailer Honest Co for over $1 bn)

Founded in 1988, Vermont-based Seventh Generation is one of the leading US brands of household and personal care products with a product portfolio and a distribution network covering the 'natural' category in grocery, mass merchandise and e-commerce channels.

Seventh Generation focuses its marketing and product development on sustainability and the conservation of natural resources, using recycled and post-consumer materials in its packaging, and biodegradable, and plant-based phosphate-and chlorine-free ingredients in its products.

Its products include recycled tissues, surface cleaners, organic tampons, hand soap, dishwasher detergents, and dish soap made with plant-based ingredients.

The privately-held company's investors include its management, private equity firms, and venture-capital firms.

Nitin Paranjpe, president of Unilever's Home Care business said, ''Seventh Generation has long been a disruptor in the US marketplace, leading the industry in sustainable innovation while attracting new generations of conscious consumers. This addition to Unilever's product portfolio will help us meet rising demand for high-quality products with a purpose.''

''For 28 years, Seventh Generation has been creating products that are not only effective but also designed with environmental and human health in mind while demonstrating that business can have a greater purpose, serving not just profit but people and the planet as well. Today marks the next chapter and we're proud to join Unilever and its shared vision for purpose-led business on a global scale,'' said, Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle.