Unilever Plc, the multinational consumer goods company, is making a fresh attempt to sell its non-core beauty and personal care brands in an effort to streamline its business and raise cash. The company has hired investment banks Morgan Stanley and Evercore Inc to lead the sale process, marking the first major move by Unilever’s new CEO, Hein Schumacher.

The brand portfolio being sold, known as Elida Beauty, consists of several well-known beauty and personal care brands including Caress, TIGI, Timotei, Monsavon, St. Ives, Zwitsal, Ponds, Brut, Moussel, Alberto Balsam, and Matey. In 2022, Elida generated approximately $760 million in revenue.

This is not the first time Unilever has attempted to divest Elida Beauty. In 2021, the company worked with Credit Suisse on a previous sale process but ultimately decided to pull out due to offers that fell short of its valuation expectations. Since then, Unilever has been working towards making Elida an autonomous unit that could attract private equity firms as potential buyers.

Morgan Stanley and Evercore have already approached several potential buyers to gauge their interest in acquiring Elida. If successful, this sale could result in a multi-billion-dollar deal. All parties involved in the process have chosen to remain anonymous given the confidential nature of the matter.

Unilever’s decision to sell off non-core assets aligns with its strategy to streamline its business and raise funds amidst the challenges of rising costs and inflation. Like many companies in the consumer goods industry, Unilever has been grappling with soaring costs, including increased prices for ingredients such as sunflower oil, shipping costs, packaging, and grain.

To mitigate these higher costs, Unilever has been implementing price hikes, which contributed to the company surpassing underlying sales growth forecasts in the second quarter. Additionally, Unilever has considered selling some of its U.S. ice cream brands, including Klondike and Breyers.

Overall, the sale of Elida Beauty and other non-core assets is a strategic move by Unilever to focus on its core brands and raise funds to navigate the challenging economic landscape. With the expertise of Morgan Stanley and Evercore, the company is well-positioned to attract potential buyers and secure a lucrative deal.

Useful Links:
Unilever Official Website
Morgan Stanley Official Website