The operation still needs the OK from the Argentine secretary of commerce but is expected to get the go-ahead.

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Unilever sells Argentine brands and plant British-Dutch multinational Unilever has sold off a package of personal care brands, reliable market sources have told Pharmabiz. The move is intended to redress the monopolistic position the company gained following its acquisition of Alberto Culver five years ago. The unexpected buyer is Argentine group Santiago Saenz, a Salta-based company specialising in domestic cleaning products. The price of the sale is believed to be $7 million.

According to the journalist Claudio Destéfano, Peru’s Alicorp and Argentina’s Prifamon also tendered offers.

The operation, which involved the participation of the Puente finance group, includes the sale of the VeritasVo5Antiall and La Fármaco brands, as well as the Fármaco plant in el Talar de Pacheco, which produces liquids, powders and semi-solids.

Unilever was obliged to let the brands go due to the market monopoly it gained following its purchase of US firm Alberto Culver five years ago. The company will retain the brands TRESemmé and St.IvesSee press release.

The operation still needs the OK from the Argentine secretary of commerce but is expected to get the go-ahead.

Culver gained a strong presence in Argentina in 1999 with the purchase of La Fármaco, a local firm which consumers continue to identify with.

The structure of the ex-La Fármaco continued to operate independently under the control of Luis Costa.

Veritas is a strong brand in the Argentine market, with deodorants, soaps, colognes, shaving foams, and foot care products. A line of body creams has just been launched.

Antiall and VO5 focus on haircare, and La Fármaco on soap.

Santiago Saenz has facilities in the Salta Industrial Estate and produces Borita liquid soap, Jardín deodorizers, Dumba bicarbonate of soda and Azago alcohol. Visit website. See article.

It has experience and reach in retail with its domestic cleaning products, but its focus is on supermarkets rather than pharmacies.

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