Unilever sells stake in JohnsonDiversey

Unilever today announced that it is to reduce its equity interest in JohnsonDiversey from 33 per cent to 4 per cent.

Unilever will receive $158m in cash together with $250m senior notes with a 10½ per cent coupon, payable in cash or kind. This transaction follows on from the original 2002 sale of Unilever's institutional and industrial cleaning business to Johnson Wax Professional.

At the same time JohnsonDiversey have announced that Clayton, Dubillier & Rice, Inc (CD&R) are to take a 46 per cent equity interest as part of a broader recapitalisation transaction.

In addition, JohnsonDiversey will continue to sell and distribute certain Unilever products into the professional commercial cleaning and hygiene market.

The transaction, which is conditional on JohnsonDiversey and CD&R completing debt financing and receiving regulatory approvals, is expected to close before the year end.

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Notes to Editors:

  • Diversey was acquired by Unilever from Molson in 1996 and integrated with its Lever Industrial International business to become DiverseyLever.

  • As Unilever continued to focus its portfolio on its consumer business, the DiverseyLever institutional and industrial cleaning business was subsequently sold in 2002 to Johnson Wax Professional (JWP) for $1billion in cash, $279m senior notes (subsequently traded for cash in the financial market), and an equity interest of 33 per cent in the newly-combined JohnsonDiversey business.

  • More information on JohnsonDiversey and their press announcement can be found at: www.johnsondiversey.com

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