Unilever CEO says acquisitions make it a ‘major player’ in prestige market now


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Unilever CEO says acquisitions make it a ‘major player’ in prestige market now

Related tags Personal care business Human skin color

Unilever made its intentions clear since the start of the year through four prestige skin care acquisitions and the company now believes it is a major player right away in the market with more to come thanks to the addition of key figures too.

At the start of the year the Anglo-Dutch firm boosted its prestige skin care offering with the purchases of REN in March​ , Kate Somerville Skincare in May​ , professional skin care Dermalogica​ in June, and then adding Murad, its second professional brand acquisition​ in July.

Pay to play

Analysts have commented that these moves will help the consumer goods company make a dent in a number of markets​, of which prestige is the main one, and now Unilever CEO Paul Polman says that with the four buys on board the manufacturer now has a business that is rapidly approaching €500 million; “€400 million plus at the moment.”

“We will be a major player right away now in​ [the prestige] segment,”​ he said on a conference call. “And actually, this builds on a very strong personal care busine​ss [which in total] is now the second biggest personal care business in the world after L'Oreal and is obviously performing very well.”

Polman explains that with the continuous improvement that the company has been seeing in its personal care business​, it now believes that it has the critical mass to be a player in the prestige segment and, first and foremost, to attract the talent.


“We have had some great talent that has come in that understands the business. We're very blessed with the talent that is in the company since we acquired; Dr. Murad himself; Jane and Raymond Wurwand from Dermalogica,”​ continues Polman.

“These are great people that understand their businesses very well. And, at the same time, we now have enough critical mass to attract other people as well.”

These acquisitions have also been key stepping stones for Unilever to ensure they do not rush into any markets, according to Polman, as it looks to gain as much knowledge as possible and capitalise on any opportunities to strengthen the current portfolio.

He adds that there is also room for more activity, “but for now I think we have enough on our plates to integrate these brands and make them work for us.”

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