January 26, 2009 / 4:00 PM / 10 years ago

Unilever buys into hair salon products with TIGI

LONDON (Reuters) - Consumer products giant Unilever (ULVR.L) (UNc.AS) said it was buying the TIGI professional hair care products business and academies for $411.5 million from the owners of the Toni & Guy hair salons.

The cash deal on Monday marked the first move by the Anglo-Dutch group, whose hair care products already include Sunsilk and Suave, into hair salon products and will add brands such as Bed Head, Catwalk and S-Factor to its portfolio.

The business being acquired employs 550 people and had sales of around $250 million in 2008, with almost half coming from the United States. It also has operations in Australia, Britain, Germany and Italy.

TIGI products have been sold worldwide primarily through hair salons since the business started in 1986. It is currently owned and run by four Mascolo brothers — including Toni and Guy. This deal does not include the Toni & Guy salon business.

“We already have a strong position in daily hair care and adding the salon brands will further build our position in the hair category,” Vindi Banga, Unilever’s president in charge of foods and home & personal care, said in a statement.

The deal is expected to be completed by end-March.

Reporting by David Jones; Editing by Dan Lalor

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