Unilever acquires top Russian beauty firm

14th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Anglo-Dutch food and cosmetics giant Unilever said Friday that is was buying a majority stake in a top Russian beauty company for over half a billion dollars to increase its foothold in the Russian market.

The company said in a statement that the deal, which is pending and still subject to regulatory approval, would see it acquire 82 percent of Yekaterinburg-based Kalina for 16.7 billion rubles ($538 million, 392 million euros).

Kalina is one of Russia's best known beauty products firms with nationally prominent brands and Unilever said the acquisition of the company would help it further expand its presence in the country.

"This will transform Unilevers personal care business in Russia, giving us leading positions in skin care and hair care, as well as establishing a presence in oral care," said Unilever chief executive Pol Polman.

Unilever said the transaction valued the total equity of Kalina at 21.5 billion rubles.

The Russian authorities under strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have shown increasing readiness in recent years to encourage foreign takeovers of Russian firms outside the strategic energy sector.

Earlier this year, the authorities approved the acquisition by PepsiCo of a two-thirds stake in Russia's second-largest food and beverage company Wimm-Bill-Dann for $3.8 billion.

© 2011 AFP

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