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Unilever, P&G fined for fixing prices on detergent

Consumer goods giants Unilever and Procter & Gamble were fined $456 million by EU regulators on Wednesday for fixing washing powder prices in eight EU countries. Get the full story »

Regulators scrutinizing Sara Lee sell-offs, says EU

From Bloomberg | Sara Lee Corp.’s sale of its insecticide unit to S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. is among the company’s divestments that has required “extra care” from regulators, the European Union’s antitrust chief said Thursday. The bug-killer deal is the latest Sara Lee sell-off to be examined in-depth by the European Commission after the regulator imposed conditions on Unilever’s plan to buy Sara Lee’s shower-gel and European detergents.

Alberto shareholders OK sale to Unilever

Shareholders of Alberto-Culver Co., the maker of  beauty products such as VO5 and Noxzema, have approved the company’s $3.7 billion takeover by  consumer products maker Unilever NV, the companies said on Friday.

The company also said it and Unilever have received a  second request for information from the Department  of Justice, which is reviewing the deal. Get the full story »

Unilever approved to buy Sara Lee Kenya unit

Kenya granted Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever approval to buy Sara Lee’s subsidiary in the east African nation, a government notice showed on Friday. Get the full story »

Sara Lee sells rest of body care brands to Unilever

Sara Lee Corp. has completed the $1.6 billion sale of its body care and European detergent segments to Unilever NV, the food company said Monday. Get the full story »

EU regulators OK Unilever purchase of Sara Lee unit

The European Commission Wednesday cleared consumer-goods giant Unilever PLC to buy Sara Lee Corp.’s personal care unit, but stipulated that the antitrust approval depends on the sale of Sara Lee’s Sanex bath, shower and deodorants brand in Europe. Get the full story »

Unilever profit up 19% on sales growth

Unilever NV, one of the world’s largest makers of consumer products such as Dove soaps, Lipton teas and Ben & Jerry’s ice creams, Thursday reported third-quarter earnings rose 19 percent to $1.75 billion on sales growth, cost-cutting, and the weak euro, which more than offset higher raw materials costs.

Unilever said it expects to close a $1,85 billion purchase of Sara Lee’s personal care products division, which is being examined closely by European regulators, in the fourth quarter. It has also agreed to buy Alberto Culver, the U.S. maker of Noxzema, TRESemme and V05, for $3.7 billion. Get the full story »

Alberto Culver deal may draw interest from rivals

Bloomberg News | L’Oreal SA and Henkel AG could be interested in Alberto Culver Co., which Unilever yesterday agreed to buy for $3.7 billion, JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts said.

Alberto Culver shares rose 20 percent to $37.64 yesterday after the deal was announced, above the $37.50 a share Unilever agreed to pay for the maker of VO5 and TRESemme hair-care products. Unilever said there is a $125 million breakup fee if the deal is terminated. Get the full story »

Unilever to buy Alberto Culver for $3.7B

Gina Boswell, president of global brands, stands in an Alberto Culver lab in 2008. (Chicago Tribune/Alex Garcia)

Consumer goods group Unilever will buy U.S. hair and skin care company Alberto Culver for $3.7 billion in the latest move to rebalance its portfolio toward higher growth lines.

The news sent Alberto Culver stock up 20 percent to $37.73, near its 52-week high of $32.08, in midday trading.

Unilever’s biggest acquisition in a decade will add brands such as V05, TRESemme and Nexxus to Unilever’s existing Dove and Sunsilk, and make it the world’s leading company in hair conditioning and the second largest in shampoo. Get the full story »

EU regulators to review Sara Lee-S.C. Johnson deal

EU regulators will review a bid by bug spray maker S.C. Johnson to purchase Sara Lee Corp.’s remaining insecticide business at the request of national watchdogs, the European Commission said on Wednesday. Sara Lee announced the $200 million deal in June as part of a strategy of focusing on selling food, coffee and tea. Get the full story »

FDA warns Canada Dry, Lipton on health claims

Federal health regulators have issued warnings to the makers of Canada Dry ginger ale and Lipton tea for making unsubstantiated nutritional claims about their green tea-flavored beverages.

In a warning letter issued Aug. 30, the Food and Drug Administration takes issue with the labeling of Canada Dry Sparkling Green Tea Ginger Ale. The agency issued a similar letter Aug. 23 to Unilever Inc., over Web site and product labeling for its Lipton Green Tea. Get the full story »

EU pushes back deadline on sale of Sara Lee unit

European Union competition regulators have set a new deadline of Oct. 22 to decide whether to clear Unilever’s $1.3 billion purchase of Sara Lee Corp.’s body care business, the European Commission said on Friday. Get the full story »

EU regulators challenge Sara Lee-Unilever deal

The European Union’s antitrust regulator has formally obnected to Unilever’s planned $1.67 billion acquisition of Sara Lee Corp.’s shower-gel and European detergents business. Paul Matthews, a London-based spokesman for Unilever, said the company remains confident that a “positive agreement” can be reached by the end of the year.