Unilever sells non-core beauty brands to Yellow Wood Partners

By Julia Wray | Published: 18-Dec-2023

The Elida Beauty business comprises more than 20 brands, including Impulse, Caress, Timotei and Tigi

Unilever has received a binding offer from private equity firm Yellow Wood Partners to buy its Elida Beauty business. 

Elida comprises more than 20 non-core Unilever brands, including Impulse, the body spray brand; body wash and bar specialist Caress; hair care labels Timotei and Tigi, and Q-Tips. 

The business is said to have generated turnover of around €0.8bn in 2022.

The news follows Yellow Wood, the owner of Real Techniques and Isle of Paradise, purchasing the North American business of Suave from Unilever this February. 

It formed part of Unilver’s effort to streamline its business to focus on what the conglomerate calls its ‘Power Brands’; these include Dove and Axe/Lynx. 

Commenting on the Elida sale, the President of Unilever Personal Care, Fabian Garcia, said: “This marks another step towards the optimisation of our Personal Care portfolio

“Our priority is to step up the growth of our Power Brands by investing behind key strategic focus areas such as driving unmissable brand superiority and scaling multi-year innovations.” 

Garcia added: “Elida Beauty’s portfolio comprises iconic and classic beauty and personal care brands. 

“I am sure under the new ownership they will continue to prosper and serve consumers across North America and Europe.”

“We are excited to work with the Elida Beauty team to lead these brands into their next phase of growth and expansion,” commented Tad Yanagi, Partner of Yellow Wood Partners.

“Consumers around the world love these brands as they are an important part of their daily lives. 

“We believe the brands will flourish in the Yellow Wood operating model where our teams will work to build and enhance growth and accessibility.”

Rumours that Unilever was once-more looking to divest Elida surfaced in September this year, with an article in Reuters claiming the FMCG giant had brought onboard Morgan Stanley and Evercore to revive the process it abandoned two years ago.

Unilever had previously worked with Credit Suisse in 2021 to divest the portfolio, but pulled the process later that year when ‘cherry-picking’ of the brands for sale allegedly resulted in offers that did not meet Unilever’s expectations.

Yellow Wood’s binding offer is subject to the usual closing conditions, but completion is expected by mid-2024.

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