Unilever to acquire Sundial Brands

Sundial Shea MoistureMultinational giant Unilever has announced an agreement to acquire Sundial Brands, a New York-based personal care products company.

Unilever and Sundial are creating the New Voices Fund with an initial investment of US$50 million to empower women of colour entrepreneurs. They aim 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 US portfolio of purpose-driven companies, which includes Ben & Jerry’s and Seventh Generation.”

Sundial Brands product roster include SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker and Nyakio. Unilever said 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.

“We are excited to partner with Dennis 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.”

Unilever has appointed Esi Eggleston Bracey as EVP & COO of Unilever North America Personal Care, effective January 1, 2018. 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 Dennis.

“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. I’ve enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Bracey 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.

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