NEW YORK – Colgate-Palmolive Co. (CL) said Tuesday it agreed to sell its North American laundry detergent brands for an undisclosed sum to consumer products company Phoenix Brands LLC.
The company, whose household brands include Softsoap and Ajax, said the sale was part of a strategy to focus on its fast-growing oral, personal and pet care businesses. Colgate-Palmolive said it will post a one-time gain of $60 million on the sale, which is expected to close in this year's third quarter.
The detergents being sold include the brands Fab, Dynamo, Arctic Power, ABC, Cold Power and Fresh Start, and the Ajax brand license for laundry detergents in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
For the third quarter, Colgate-Palmolive said it plans to take a previously disclosed $50 million restructuring charge, and a one-time tax charge for repatriating cash from overseas under the American Jobs Creation Act (search). The company said it would repatriate roughly $800 million at an estimated one-time tax cost of $35 million.
Phoenix Brands LLC was formed by Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Group (search) to buy various household brands from Dutch consumer giant Unilever in December 2003. Its brands include Rit fabric dyes, Niagara spray starch and Sunlight Dish Detergent.
Shares of Colgate-Palmolive rose 49 cents, or 1 percent, to $50.91 on the New York Stock Exchange (search).