Unilever’s Acquisition of Sundial Brands


Cravath is representing Unilever in connection with the transaction.

Unilever finalized an agreement to acquire Sundial Brands, a New York-based personal care products company.

Sundial Brands is a leading haircare and skincare company recognized for its innovative use of high-quality and culturally authentic ingredients. Sundial’s brands include SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker and nyakio™. Since its founding in 1991, Sundial has championed inclusive beauty and has served the unmet needs of consumers of color through its robust innovation pipeline, product offerings and purpose-driven business model. Through its Community Commerce business model, B Corp and Fair for Life certifications, Sundial’s approach complements the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) to accelerate growth while increasing positive social impact.

Sundial Brands will operate as a standalone unit within Unilever. Sundial’s founder, Richelieu Dennis, will continue to lead the business as CEO and Executive Chairman.

As part of the agreement, Unilever and Sundial are creating the New Voices Fund with an unprecedented initial investment of US$50 million to empower women of color entrepreneurs. The intention is to scale the Fund to US$100 million by attracting investments from other interested parties.

Sundial’s 2017 turnover is expected to be approximately US$240 million.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Subject to regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to close in quarter one 2018.

The Cravath team is led by partners Aaron M. Gruber (Picture) and Mark I. Greene and includes associate G.J. Ligelis Jr. and foreign associate attorney Jakub K. Lorys on M&A matters; partner Andrew W. Needham and associate Kiran Sheffrin on tax matters; partner David J. Kappos and associate Nicholas Kypriotakis on intellectual property matters; partner Christine A. Varney, senior attorney Jesse M. Weiss and associate Kate F. Stamell on antitrust matters; partner Jennifer S. Conway and senior attorney Nicole F. Foster on executive compensation and benefits matters; partner Matthew Morreale on environmental matters; and partner David J. Perkins, senior attorney Joyce Law and practice area attorney Brian M. Budnick on real estate matters. Joel Feigenbaum also worked on intellectual property matters and Alison E. Beskin worked on executive compensation and benefits matters.

Involved fees earner: Aaron Gruber – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Mark Greene – Cravath Swaine & Moore; G.J. Ligelis Jr. – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Jakub Lorys – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Andrew Needham – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Kiran Sheffrin – Cravath Swaine & Moore; David Kappos – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Nicholas Kypriotakis – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Christine Varney – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Jesse Weiss – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Kate Stamell – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Jennifer Conway – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Nicole Foster – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Matthew Morreale – Cravath Swaine & Moore; David Perkins – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Joyce Law – Cravath Swaine & Moore; Brian Budnick – Cravath Swaine & Moore;

Law Firms: Cravath Swaine & Moore;

Clients: Unilever;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti