(Courtesy of Henkel)
German household products company Henkel is buying Spotless Group from private equity firm BC Partners Holdings in a $1.3 billion all-cash deal.
London-based BC Partners, which bought French company Spotless in April 2010 from Axa Private Equity (now named Ardian), is being represented by White & Case. German legal publication Juve reports that Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance as well as Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton are representing Henkel, which manufactures knives, Purex detergent, Dial soap and Loctite adhesives. Neither Henkel nor the firms would confirm their roles on the deal, which was announced late last week.
Dusseldorf-based Henkel employs 47,000 people worldwide, including 5,000 in the United States and Canada. The company will buy all the outstanding shares of Spotless—maker of well-known European laundry brands Eau Ecarlate and Dylon— subject to approval by antitrust regulators. The transaction is expected to close by the first quarter of 2015, Henkel said in a news release.
Earlier this month, Henkel announced a deal to buy three U.S. hair care companies—SexyHair, Alterna and Kenra—from San Francisco private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners for just shy of $370 million.
Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted said the Spotless acquisition is part of the company’s “global strategy to selectively invest in attractive country category positions in mature markets.“
“By acquiring the Spotless Group, we will strengthen our market position and enter highly profitable growth segments,” he said in a statement. “The transaction will be immediately accretive to earnings.”
Jean-Baptiste Wautier, managing partner at BC Partners, said, “This transaction acknowledges the achievement of the company’s strategic goal consisting in building a European champion in laundry aids and insect control. Spotless is now entering a new phase of its development and has an exciting potential for future profitable growth within Henkel.”
Leading the Clifford Chance team advising Henkel are corporate M&A partner Christoph Holstein and counsel Christian Vogel in the firm’s Dusseldorf office, according to Juve. Cleary Gottlieb’s team for Henkel is composed of Cologne-based antitrust partner Romina Polley and counsel Tilman Kuhn.
Cleary represented Henkel in its $1.87 billion divestiture of Ecolab in 2008 as well as its purchase of an adhesives-making subsidiary of Akzo Nobel the same year.
Dieter Kahling, corporate vice president, is Henkel’s in-house counsel.
White & Case corporate M&A partner Vincent Morin in Paris represented BC Partners in the sale of Spotless. In May 2013, White & Case worked with BC Partners on its acquisition of Allflex, a maker of electronic livestock identification tags in Dallas-Fort Worth from Electra Partners for $1.3 billion.