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Reckitt Benckiser seeks to expand business with SSL bid


SLOUGH, England Reckitt Benckiser on Wednesday announced its bid for SSL International, parent company of Durex, in a cash deal valued at $3.9 billion.

The acquisition of SSL provides Reckitt Benckiser with an attractive opportunity to increase its presence in the health and personal care sector, the company stated in a 39-page document outlining the proposed offer.

"The acquisition of SSL will provide a step change to Reckitt Benckiser's global health and personal care business, which has been a key driver of Reckitt Benckiser's net revenue growth and profit progression,” stated Bart Becht, Reckitt CEO. “It is anticipated that the acquisition will increase Reckitt Benckiser's health and personal care net revenues by [more than] 36% to approximately [$4.3 billion, representing] one-third of the group's total net revenues.”

The acquisition will add two new “power brands” to the Reckitt arsenal, Becht said, including Durex in intimacy health and Scholl in foot care. “We believe that we could drive further growth in the acquired business, especially Durex and Scholl, by investing in SSL and Reckitt Benckiser's proven innovation and brand-building capabilities, and by taking advantage of our greater distribution strength,” Becht added.

The Dr. Scholl brand name currently is licensed to Merck Consumer Care in the U.S. market.

The SSL board intends to recommend unanimously that SSL shareholders accept the offer.

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