06 October 2000

Anglo-Dutch consumer products colossus Unilever is negotiating with Miami-based FFI Fragrances to sell some of its fragrance interests for $300 million.

The brands involved in the sale are Elizabeth Arden and Elizabeth Taylor. The deal involves only the fragrance brands, and Unilever will retain the cosmetics businesses. Unilever declined to comment on the deal, which is expected to be finalised within the next fortnight.

Compared to Unilever, FFI is a minnow in the fragrance market, with sales last year totalling $361m. It currently sells its cosmetics and perfumes through 35,000 selected US stores.

Unilever is focusing on ‘power’ brands, following completion of its $20.3 billion purchase of Bestfoods this week. It will retain its interests in the fragrance market through such brands as Karl Lagerfeld and Chloe.

News source: Financial Times