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Reckitt to sell E45 skincare brand for £200m

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Consumer giant Reckitt Benckiser has agreed the sale of skincare brand E45 for £200 million.

The Slough-based company, which also owns brand including Dettol and Durex, told investors on Friday morning that it is set to sell the business to Swedish group Karo Pharma.

E45 cream was created in 1952 by Reckitt subsidiary Crookes Healthcare and was initially only available in hospitals.

However, increased demand and positive results saw the brand move into traditional retail.

In the financial year to December 2020, the E45 brand and related sub-brands had a combined net revenue of £43 million.

The proposed sale is the latest move by Reckitt to shake up its portfolio in a bid to focus on higher growth areas of its operations.

It comes after the firm sold its infant formula and child nutrition business in China and its Scholl foot treatment brand earlier this year.

Reckitt’s strategy also saw it acquire menthol treatment business Biofreeze in July.

Chief executive Laxman Narasimhan aid: “E45 is an iconic, trusted skincare brand that over 60 years has become a leader in science-based skincare.

“As we shift from a brand-led to a category-led growth strategy, we are focusing on high growth categories with brands we can stretch into new places and spaces to support our medium-term growth ambitions, including 4%-6% growth in health.

“Now is the right time to pass E45 on to a new owner, and we are confident that Karo will build on the strength of the E45 brand to capture the significant opportunities ahead.”

The sale is subject to closing conditions, including consultations with employee representatives in France, but is expected to complete in the second quarter of next year.

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