The manufacturer of well-known brand Imperial Leather soap, PZ Cussons is to purchase the Charles Worthington high-end range of shampoos, conditioners and hair care products that are sold exclusively through the Boots high street retail chain.
The company said that it intended to expand the Charles Worthington brand through its international subsidiaries in Australia, Eastern Europe and the Far East, and to resolve its current trading losses in the US.
The acquisition will boost PZ Cussons revenues as sales of Charles Worthington products are forecast to achieve £19m for the year to 30 June 2004.
The brand was launched nine years ago by Charles Worthington and partner Alan Peters. The company is based in London, where it remains in the short term. The acquisition does not include the salon business.
Graham Calder, finance director at PZ Cussons said: "This is an exciting one for us and will sit well in our product portfolio. The business has grown since Charles established it and was taking up a lot of his time. He wants to concentrate on his salons business and was looking to sell the haircare brand. We were looking to buy so it has worked out well.
"We are already strong in soap, shower gels and hand wash and we are now in to the hair market. We believe there is good scope to grow the business internationally," he added.