OFT accepts Unilever/Alberto Culver divestment undertakings

The merger of two manufacturers of hair and personal care products will not be referred to the CC after the parties agreed to divest part of the combined firm's soap bars business.  

The OFT concluded that the acquisition of the Alberto Culver Company by Unilever may have caused a substantial lessening of competition in the market for bar soaps in the UK because of the strength of Unilever's Dove brand.  

The OFT has accepted undertakings to sell off two of Alberto Culver's soap bars strands – Wright's and Cidal – and to offer a perpetual licence of its Simple brand in the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands. The businesses will be bought upfront by Lornamead.