Henkel to Acquire Sun Products Corporation

Sun ProductsHenkel has signed an agreement to acquire all shares in the laundry and home care company The Sun Products Corporation, based in Wilton, Connecticut, USA, from a fund of Vestar Capital Partners. The transaction is valued at around 3.2 billion euros (3.6 billion US dollars) including debt.

“This transaction is a major strategic move for Henkel. North America is one of the most important regions for us worldwide. With the acquisition of Sun Products we will improve our position in the USA, the world’s largest laundry care market, and Canada,” said Henkel CEO Hans Van Bylen.

With the acquisition Henkel will advance to a No. 2 position in the laundry care market in North America.

Sun Products has a portfolio of leading laundry care brands, such as all and Sun as well as the fabric conditioner Snuggle. The company also develops and manufactures private brands for leading retailers in North America. In fiscal 2015, the company generated sales of about 1.4 billion euros (1.6 billion US dollars) in the USA and Canada. Sun Products employs approximately 2,000 people and has two production sites and one R&D center in the USA.

“Sun Products will complement and strengthen our existing laundry and home care portfolio with well-established and successful brands in North America,” explained Bruno Piacenza, Executive Vice President and responsible for Henkel’s Laundry and Home Care business. “The Sun Products brands will enable us to further leverage Henkel’s innovation leadership and increase our relevance to trading partners in North America.”

The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

North America is one the most important regions for Henkel and the USA accounts for the highest sales globally. Henkel has more than 6,000 employees in North America and operates with all three business units in the region: Laundry & Home Care, Beauty Care and Adhesive Technologies. Henkel´s portfolio of well-known, leading consumer and industrial brands in the USA include Persil and Purex laundry detergents, Schwarzkopf hair care products for retail and professional customers, Dial body care and Loctite adhesives.

In fiscal 2015, total sales in North America amounted to more than 3.6 billion euros (4.0 billion US dollars). Over the past decades the business in the region has continuously strengthened through successfully integrated acquisitions, e.g. Loctite, Dial, National Starch´s adhesives businesses as well as the hair professional companies Sexy Hair, Kenra and Alterna.

Perella Weinberg Partners and Credit Suisse served as financial advisors, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP served as legal advisor to Henkel in connection with this transaction. The acquisition will be fully debt-financed and is underwritten by Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and BNP Paribas.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.