Energizer Sees Consumer Care Growth With Playtex Buy

The Energizer Bunny kept going ... and going ... and has acquired skin-, feminine- and infant-care company Playtex.

Parent St. Louis, Mo.-based Energizer Holdings, Inc.--which in addition to batteries and power also owns shaving giant Schick-Wilkinson Sword--has signed a deal to acquire Playtex of Westport, Conn., for $18.30 per share in cash, or about $1.9 billion. Energizer is paying a 26% premium over Playtex's closing stock price on July 10, per the companies. Ward M. Klein, CEO of Energizer, says the company was a good fit for Energizer because of its No. 1 or No. 2 market positions in skin care, feminine and infant products, and that its share is stable or growing. And he says that Playtex has similar customers and distribution channels in the U.S. and Canada and expansion opportunities in countries where Energizer does business.

"Its products enjoy healthy margins with strong, predictable cash flows, similar to our existing stable of consumer and personal care products," he says.



"Energizer will emerge with a more diversified portfolio of products and greater scale in the personal care category, which will now be more evenly balanced with our household goods business. It will also provide a platform for possible additional value-adding acquisitions."

Playtex, with sales through March 2007 totaling $641 million, markets the No. 2 and No. 4 sun-guard brands Banana Boat, and Hawaiian Tropic--which it acquired this spring--as well as Wet Ones and Playtex gloves. The company says skin care constitutes 37% of net sales, with feminine care products at 35% and infant care 28% of net sales. Energizer's sales for its most recently reported 12 months totaled $3,255 million.

"[Playtex is] a fast-moving company, a strategic fit, and they have strong brands," Klein says--adding that Playtex' portfolio will allow Energizer to grow its consumer care business from 30% of corporate sales via Schick, which it acquired in 2003, to over 40% of corporate sales. Playtex will triple the company's share of personal care products in the North American market. Over 95% of Playtex sales are in North America, per Klein.

"This is our first acquisition since Schick, which has gone from delivering $625 million in sales, to over $1 billion," he says. "Our success with integrating Schick makes us optimistic about integrating Playtex."

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