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European Commission - Press release

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Sanex by Colgate

Brussels, 06 June 2011 - The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of sole control of Unilever's Sanex business (Sanex) by Colgate-Palmolive Group (CP). The Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of other strong competitors and that customers would still have sufficient alternative suppliers in all markets concerned.

The Commission examined the competitive effects of the proposed acquisition in the affected markets for the sale of bath and shower products, soaps and deodorants and it concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

CP is active internationally in the consumer goods sector and has as its core business oral care, personal care, home care and pet nutrition. Sanex is active in the personal care sector and especially in the markets for bath & shower products, soap and deodorant. The divestment of Sanex is the result of a commitment made by Unilever to be able to acquire Sara Lee Body Care (see IP/10/1514).

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 28 April 2011.

Merger control rules and procedures

The Commission, in 1989, was given the power to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (see Article 1 of the Merger Regulation). Its duty is to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA)1 or any substantial part of it.

The vast majority of mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (Phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (Phase II).

A non-confidential version of today's decision will be available at:

Contacts :

Amelia Torres (+32 2 295 46 29)

Marisa Gonzalez Iglesias (+32 2 295 19 25)

1 :

The EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

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