Reckitt Benckiser buys Durex

Posted on 21 Jul 2010 by The Manufacturer

Anglo-Dutch consumer goods producer Reckitt Benckiser has agreed a £2.5bn deal to buy SSL International – the British maker of Durex condoms and Scholl foot care products.

“The acquisition will add two new Powerbrands, with good further growth potential, to Reckitt Benckiser’s current arsenal, making 19 Powerbrands in total,” says RB chief executive Bart Becht. “Durex, in the sexual wellbeing category, is the global number one condom brand and Scholl is the market leader in the foot care category in many of the markets where it is present.”

The SSL board is unanimously recommending the sale of 1171p per share to shareholders.

“This offer is some four times the level of SSL’s share price five years ago,” said SSL chairman Gerald Corbett. “I believe few shares in investors’ portfolios have done as well. Reckitt Benckiser is a well regarded company and I am sure our brands and people will be in good hands.”

Last year RB recorded profits of £1.9bn against sales of £7.8bn. SSL’s profit was £126m against £802.5m. Durex was responsible for a third of its turnover.

SSL is listed on the London Stock Exchange as a FTSE 250 company. It has manufacturing facilities in Manchester, Cornwall and Peterlee.

RB’s existing brands include Vanish, Lemsip, Dettol, Nurofen and Gaviscon.