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Unilever Will Buy Faberge, Elizabeth Arden for $1.55 Billion

From Associated Press

Unilever, the British-Dutch consumer products giant, has agreed to buy the Faberge and Elizabeth Arden lines of toiletries, cosmetics and fragrances for $1.55 billion, Unilever and Faberge announced today.

The new deal between Faberge’s owner, Riklis Family Corp., and Unilever United States Inc., the holding company for the group’s American operations, is expected to be completed within 30 days.

Unilever and Riklis had reached an agreement in principle on the takeover in February and intended to negotiate details of a final contract within three months, but the talks broke down.

In late April, Unilever said it abandoned its plan of buying Faberge Inc. and its independent subsidiary, Elizabeth Arden, because Meshulam Riklis’ Riklis group sought to make significant changes in the tentative deal that would have meant Unilever had to pay more.

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In a joint news release today, the companies said all differences have been resolved. A definitive contract has been signed, with completion of the transaction subject to a number of technical conditions that the companies did not specify.

Chris Atkins, a spokesman for Unilever, said the conditions are minor matters that will not jeopardize the deal.

Under the contract, Unilever is to buy all of Faberge except for the McGregor Apparel Group, which is made up of clothing lines such as Botany 500, Wonderknit and Bill the Kid.

Combined sales of Faberge and Elizabeth Arden amounted to more than $800 million in the year ended January, 1989, and profit was $93 million.

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