Spotless sale cleans up for BC Partners

GERMAN consumer goods group Henkel yesterday said it has agreed to buy French home care company Spotless Group for €940m (£763m) in cash.

Private equity firm BC Partners has nearly doubled its money on Spotless, having bought the company for €600m in 2010.

BC Partners said the deal would offer the firm potential to expand as part of a larger European group.

Spotless generated sales of €280m in 2013, with brands including Dylon, Eau Ecarlate and Colour Catcher part of its range of home care, laundry aids and insect control products in Western European markets.

Henkel, which owns the Schwartzkopf haircare range and several detergents, said Spotless would be immediately accretive to earnings.

Henkel is also the original manufacturer of Persil and still distributes the product in Germany and most other European markets, with Unilever licensed to market its version of Persil in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Spotless purchase marks a dealmaking double for the firm this week, following its €270m purchase of three US haircare brands on Monday. Both purchases are being funded by a €4bn war chest that Henkel has been building over several quarters for acquisitions.

BC Partners was advised by JP Morgan and Rothschild on the deal.

The world laundry care sector was valued at over $82bn in 2013 by market research Euromonitor, with Henkel ranked as the 3rd largest company in the sector with 8.5 per cent market share. This is set to rise to 8.7 per cent with the acquisition of Spotless.