Reckitt Benckiser to acquire SSL International

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

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Reckitt Benckiser has announced that it is buying up the maker of health and personal care brands Scholl and Durex, SSL International.

The company has agreed to pay £2.54bn (€3.02bn) for SSL, in a deal that will add two 'powerbrands' to its portfolio of health, personal care and household products.

Reckitt now has a total of 19 powerbrands, of which several are in the personal care arena including Clearasil, Dettol and Bonjela, as well as a number of lesser known brands, many of which are sold in just one market.

Building on powerbrands

“The acquisition of SSL will provide a step change to Reckitt Benckiser's global health & personal care business, which has been a key driver of Reckitt Benckiser's net revenue growth and profit progression” ​said Reckitt Benckiser CEO Bart Becht.

“It is anticipated that the acquisition will increase Reckitt Benckiser's health & personal care net revenues by over 36 per cent. to approximately £2.8 billion, one third of the Group’s total net revenues.”

The company also says that the acquisition will help it to improve its footing in both the Japan and China markets, as the SSL brands both have a significant presence there.

Synergies mean cost savings

The acquisition is also expected to bring cost synergies of approximately £100m for the group’s operations, which are expected to be achieved by the end of 2012.

Durex is the world’s number one condom brand, but the deal will also see Reckitt Benckiser acquire a number of associated health and personal care products, which are focused on lubricants.

Deal also includes local brands

Scholl is the market leader in footcare in most of the markets it is present in worldwide, including Europe. As well as specialising in sandals, the brand also includes a range of footcare products, including treatments for various foot skin conditions such as fungus and dry feet.

The SSL portfolio also includes a number of local owned brands, including a significant UK OTC portfolio that is mainly focused on health care products, as well as the Mister Baby Sauber body care brands, which are sold in Italy.

Reckitt Benckiser says that the acquisition will help it to develop the underlying growth it achieved in 2009 of 4 per cent, which was largely attributable to growth from its 17 major powerbrands.

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