Unilever to acquire Sundial Brands
Sundial Brands is the latest addition to Unilever’s portfolio of fast-growing, purpose-led companies as part of broader Company transformation. Agreement accelerates Unilever’s Personal Care category growth by addressing under-served needs of multicultural and millennial consumers. Purpose-driven partnership seeks to create groundbreaking US$100M New Voices Fund to invest in and empower women of colour entrepreneurs.
Unilever today announced an agreement to acquire Sundial Brands, a New York-based personal care products company.
Sundial Brands is a leading haircare and skincare company recognized for its innovative use of high-quality and culturally authentic ingredients. Sundial’s brands include SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker and nyakio™. Since its founding in 1991, Sundial has championed inclusive beauty and has served the unmet needs of consumers of color through its robust innovation pipeline, product offerings and purpose-driven business model. Through its Community Commerce business model, B Corp and Fair for Life certifications, Sundial’s approach complements the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) to accelerate growth while increasing positive social impact.
Sundial Brands will operate as a standalone unit within Unilever. Sundial’s founder, Richelieu Dennis, will continue to lead the business as CEO and Executive Chairman.
As part of the agreement, Unilever and Sundial are creating the New Voices Fund with an unprecedented initial investment of US$50 million to empower women of color entrepreneurs. The intention is to scale the Fund to US$100 million by attracting investments from other interested parties.
“The Sundial team has built differentiated and on-trend premium brands serving multicultural and millennial consumers that enhance our existing portfolio,” said Kees Kruythoff, President, Unilever North America. “Sundial is an important addition to our U.S. portfolio of purpose-driven companies, which includes Ben & Jerry’s and Seventh Generation.”
“We are excited to partner with Richelieu and his team to enable Sundial to bring its unique product offerings and community impact to more people around the world,” said Alan Jope, President, Unilever Personal Care. “We look forward to continuing to grow the business and make an even bigger impact on society through Sundial’s community programs.”
Additionally, Unilever has appointed Esi Eggleston Bracey, a seasoned executive with a strong track record of business leadership in driving cultural relevancy in brand building, as EVP & COO of Unilever North America Personal Care, effective January 1, 2018. As a part of her role, Bracey will work closely with Dennis to further accelerate the growth, purpose-driven mission and consumer connectivity of Sundial Brands.
“I’ve always wanted Sundial Brands to be an inspiration to other minority-owned companies of how a business against all odds can achieve excellence, have significant social impact in our communities and be successful on a world stage,” said Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO, Sundial Brands. “I am excited Sundial and Unilever have created this partnership, rooted in a purpose-driven ethos, that represents an incredible opportunity to take our Community Commerce economic empowerment and impact model to another level.” Dennis added: “I’ve enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Esi and look forward to working with her to continue to change the game in beauty, personal care and community building.”
Sundial’s 2017 turnover is expected to be approximately US$240 million.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Subject to regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to close in quarter one 2018.
To learn more, please visit a series of videos featuring Unilever and Sundial.
This announcement may contain forward-looking statements, including ‘forward-looking statements’ within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as ‘will’, ‘aim’, ‘expects’, ‘anticipates’, ‘intends’, ‘looks’, ‘believes’, ‘vision’, or the negative of these terms and other similar expressions of future performance or results, and their negatives, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and assumptions regarding anticipated developments and other factors affecting the Unilever Group (the “Group”). They are not historical facts, nor are they guarantees of future performance.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Among other risks and uncertainties, the material or principal factors which could cause actual results to differ materially are: Unilever's global brands not meeting consumer preferences; Unilever's ability to innovate and remain competitive; Unilever's investment choices in its portfolio management; inability to find sustainable solutions to support long-term growth; customer relationships; the recruitment and retention of talented employees; disruptions in our supply chain; the cost of raw materials and commodities; the production of safe and high quality products; secure and reliable IT infrastructure; successful execution of acquisitions, divestitures and business transformation projects; economic and political risks and natural disasters; the effect of climate change on Unilever's business; financial risks; failure to meet high and ethical standards; and managing regulatory, tax and legal matters. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this announcement. Except as required by any applicable law or regulation, the Group expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. Further details of potential risks and uncertainties affecting the Group are described in the Group's filings with the London Stock Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam and the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Annual Report on Form 20-F 2016 and the Unilever Annual Report and Accounts 2016.