Reckitt Benckiser sells E45 brand for £200m


The parent company of Dettol and Durex, Reckitt Benckiser, has agreed the sale of skincare brand E45 for £200 million.

The consumer giant told investors on Friday morning that it is set to sell the business to Swedish group Karo Pharma.

E45, which was created in 1942 by Reckitt subsidiary Crookes Healthcare, was initially only available in hospitals, however, due to increased demand and positive results, it moved into traditional retail.

“E45 is an iconic, trusted skincare brand that over 60 years has become a leader in science-based skincare,” chief executive Laxman Narasimhan said.

“As we shift from a brand-led to a category-led growth strategy, we are focusing on high growth categories with brands we can stretch into new places and spaces to support our medium-term growth ambitions, including 4%-6% growth in health.

“Now is the right time to pass E45 on to a new owner, and we are confident that Karo will build on the strength of the E45 brand to capture the significant opportunities ahead.”

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The news comes as the E45 brand and related sub-brands had a combined net revenue of £43 million in the financial year ended December 2020.

The proposed sale is the latest move by Reckitt to shake up its portfolio in a bid to focus on higher growth areas of its operations. It comes after the firm sold its infant formula and child nutrition business in China and its Scholl foot treatment brand earlier this year.

Reckitt’s strategy also saw it acquire menthol treatment business Biofreeze in July.

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