For those in conventional or online stock trading, it is important to look out for mergers and acquisitions, like the one that could happen between Unilever ($UN) and Honest.
It has been reported that the multinational company Unilever PLC is in talks for acquiring the “natural” cleaning products and diaper retailer Honest Co., founded by Hollywood actress and celebrity Jessica Alba. Unilever ($UN) is a famous global company with a range of world famous brands in its arsenal such as Axe, Dove, Rexona, Magnum, Knorr, etc ranging from personal care products to ice cream, food and beverages. The deal is said to be valuing Honest at more than $1 billion though it is still lesser than the company’s valuation which stood at $1.7 billion during last year’s fundraising round. Honest could instead go for an IPO since the Unilever negotiations are at quite an early stage and nothing can be said to be finalized.
Since its founding in 2011, Honest has been able to raise over $200 million from investors outside including venture capital firms Lightspeed Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners, and money managers Wellington Management Co. and Fidelity Management & Research Co. Honest has promised to pay some of their investors double the investment they made, if the potential sale does go through.
Acquisition of Honest would give the ever-expanding Unilever a footing in the “natural” cleaning products and diaper retail business. It has been a strong rival to Clorox and Procter & Gamble by projecting its claim of avoiding harsh chemicals which are used by other manufacturers in their cleaning products, though this claim has never been scientifically substantiated. Unilever too has household cleaning products in its arsenal, but the multinational is not in competition with Honest in the United States in many categories of products.
Acquiring Honest would give the global giant an insight into the behavior of shoppers, though this could adversely affect the relationship with existing conventional retailers who are already carrying Unilever products. And let’s not forget the IPO option is still open for Honest.
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