Henkel Hopes to Clean Up in U.S. With Sun Products Buy


A line-up of cleaning products made by Germany’s Henkel which Friday announced its acquisition of Sun Products of the U.S. Photo: Bloomberg News

FRANKFURT– Henkel AG HENKY 2.39 % is to buy The Sun Products Corp. of the U.S. in a €3.2 billion ($3.5 billion) deal to bolster the German consumer-goods group’s share of the market for laundry-care products and fabric-conditioners in North America.

Henkel said on Friday that the purchase of business with around €1.4 billion in annual revenue from private-equity firm Vestar Capital Partners includes debt and is subject to regulatory approval.

“North America is one of the most important regions for us worldwide. With the acquisition of Sun Products we will improve our position in the U.S. the world’s largest laundry care market, and Canada,” said Henkel Chief Executive Hans Van Bylen. Henkel said the deal would make it the no. 2 supplier of laundry-care products in North America.

The deal comes as Henkel is pushing hard to take on Procter & Gamble Co. PG 0.77 % in the U.S. where it generated revenue of €3.6 billion in 2015.

Earlier this year, the Germany company struck a deal with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT 0.49 % in which the retailer agreed to be the exclusive carrier of Henkel’s premium-priced laundry-soap brand Persil, challenging market leader Tide, made by P&G.

Henkel, which makes glues and beauty-care products in addition to laundry and home-care products, would be adding brands like Snuggle fabric conditioner and Wisk laundry detergent to its porfolio in buying Sun Products. The Wilton, CT-based firm employs around 2,000 people and has two production sites as well as one research and development center in the U.S.

Monica Houston-Waesch at nikki.houston@wsj.com

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