ST LOUIS, Missouri: Energizer Holdings, one of the world's biggest battery-makers, is poised to sign a $1.16 billion (€842m; £567m) deal to acquire Playtex Products, whose brands include Banana Boat sun care and rubber gloves.

Energizer, whose drumming bunny also oversees wet shave products maker Schick-Wilkinson Sword, hopes the merger will allow it to compete more effectively with Procter & Gamble in the skin and feminine care markets. It has already gained on P&G's Duracell batteries' share.

Westport, Connecticut-based Playtex - not to be confused with Playtex Apparel - has been struggling against competitors such as Kimberly-Clark and Johnson & Jonson but its prospects have improved since the arrival of P&G veteran Neil DeFeo as ceo in 2004 . Sales for its most recently reported fiscal year through March 2007 totalled $641 million.

Comments Energizer ceo Ward Klein: "We see Playtex as an exceptionally great fit with Energizer, with similar customers and distribution channels in the US and Canada, and the opportunity for geographic expansion in many other areas of the world where we currently do business."

Klein declined to give details of marketing changes that might take place after the merger is complete.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff