Ecolab agreed to sell a consumer subsidiary.
The St. Paul, Minn.-based provider of institutional cleaning services and products said the sale of its U.S. and international consumer business to West Germany’s Joh. A. Benckiser GmbH for $242.5 million will eliminate the majority of its consumer products and allow it to concentrate on its service businesses, where it sees better growth potential. Earlier this month, the firm completed a $370-million buyout of ChemLawn Corp., a lawn services company, to expand its service base to residential customers from its existing institutional base. The sale of the consumer products division will repay debt from the ChemLawn purchase.