(Reuters) – The Procter & Gamble Co. is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to explore the sale of its Wella hair-care business that could be worth around $7 billion, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters, as the world’s largest consumer-products company streamlines its business.
P&G is exploring all options for the unit, which includes professional and trade businesses. That may result in selling the whole or parts, the sources said Friday, cautioning that no final decision had been taken.
A P&G representative said the company did not comment on rumor or speculation. Goldman Sachs was not immediately available to comment.
Cincinnati-based P&G said in August it would shed 80 to 100 slow-growing product lines to focus on about 80 brands such as Tide laundry detergents and Pampers diapers, which generate most of its profit and revenue.
In November, it announced the sale of its Duracell battery unit to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and it has already sold the bulk of its pet-food business to Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. and the privately held Mars Inc.
In the hair-care segment, P&G also owns Clairol, which it bought from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. for $4.95 billion in 2001, and Vidal Sassoon. Prospective buyers could include Anglo-Dutch consumer-goods group Unilever PLC and Germany’s Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, which made an informal approach for Wella in 2002 before it was subsequently sold to P&G in 2003 for €6.5 billion ($8.1 billion).
P&G has undertaken a multiyear restructuring program, cutting thousands of jobs and taking steps to streamline operations, launch new products and expand into fast-growing emerging markets, under pressure from shareholders such as activist investor William A. Ackman, who took a stake in P&G in 2012.
The company is also believed to be exploring options for Braun, which makes electric razors and toothbrushes and which it acquired as part of its $57 billion purchase of the Gillette Co. in 2005, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. It could also look to sell some of its fragrance business.
(Reporting by Anjuli Davies and Freya Berry; Additional reporting by Pamela Barbaglia; Editing by Mark Potter)