Karo Pharma acquisition will drive E45 omnichannel switch, says Swedish firm

By Julia Wray 7-Jan-2022

UK company Reckitt is selling the dermatology brand in a £200m deal announced last year

Swedish healthcare company Karo Pharma has revealed plans to elevate E45 from off-line to omnichannel amid news that it is to buy the dermatology brand from Reckitt.

The Durex condom and Lysol maker, based in Slough, UK, announced on Christmas Eve 2021 that it would sell E45 to Karo for £200m, with the transaction expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.

E45 had annual estimated net sales of £43m during 2021 and is the market leading dermatology brand in the UK and South Africa.

According to Anna Hale, CMO of Karo, E45 has strong synergy with the Locobase, Alfason and Decubal brands that are already part of the Stockholm-headquartered company’s portfolio.

“We see compelling opportunities to unlock value; enabling E45’s shift from off-line to omnichannel and better serving consumers with a winning pipeline of innovation,” Hale added.

“The brand will strengthen our platform in the UK market, as well as within the dermatology category, fully aligned with our strategy,” said Karo’s CEO, Christoffer Lorenzen.

“Further, we will look to fuel the brand’s growth via increased A&P and via injecting e-commerce capabilities recently accessed via the Sylphar transaction.”

Sylphar International, a Belgium-based digital-first platform for health and beauty, was acquired by Karo for €290m in November last year.

For Reckitt, meanwhile, the move will allow the company to concentrate on perceived high growth categories such as disinfectants and health care products, which boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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In February last year, Reckitt sold footcare brand Scholl to private equity firm Yellow Wood Partners and likewise divested its infant formula business to Primavera Capital Group.

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