As it delves more deeply into personal hygiene and pulls back on food investments, Unilever (NYSE: UL) is acquiring Murad to enhance skin-care offerings.
The deal comes after Unilever agreed to buy two other specialty skin care lines, Dermalogica and Kate Somerville Skincare LLC, in June and May, respectively. In recent years, Unilever has shed slow-growth food brands, including the Ragu and Bertolli pasta sauce lines, which it sold to food manufacturer Mizkan Group in 2014, and Slim-Fast, which was sold to Kainos Capital, also in 2014.
Dermatologist Howard Murad founded his namesake product line in Los Angeles in 1989. Murad's skin care products are meant to address concerns, including acne and aging. The washes, creams and toners are sold direct, through spas, and through retailers such as Sephora, Ulta and Nordstrom. The deal with Unilever should help Murad expand.
The London-based buyer supplies food, home and personal care products in more than 190 countries. Unliever's brands include Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann's, Lipton, Wall's, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry's, Marmite, Magbum and Lynx.
Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP advised Unilever on the deal. Venable LLP and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP advised Murad.