Unilever has swooped to acquire the US-based maker of Tresemmé and Alberto VO5 shampoos in a deal worth $3.7bn (£2.34bn).
Alberto Culver generated annual sales of $1.6bn in the year to 30 June.
Unilever will become the second largest maker of shampoo in the world as a result of the deal, the fmcg giant claimed, and the largest in hair conditioner.
The move marks Unilever’s latest major acquisition after last year’s billion-pound swoop for Sara Lee’s personal care arm – a deal that has since come under scrutiny from European competition authorities.
“Personal care is a strategic category for Unilever and growing rapidly,” said Unilever chief executive Paul Polman.
“Ten years ago it represented 20% of our turnover; strong organic growth has driven it to now reach over 30%, with strong positions in many of the emerging markets.”
He added: “Alberto Culver has done an excellent job of building brands such as Tresemm´, VO5, Nexxus, St. Ives and Simple.
“These will complement Unilever's existing portfolio of iconic brands like Dove, Clear and Sunsilk in hair care and Pond's and Vaseline in skin.”
Dove range relaunch cuts hair damage (11 September 2010)
Timotei girl returns to TV as shampoo brand freshens up (10 July 2010)
Love it or hate it: Unilever’s 2009 results divide opinion (analysis; 13 February 2010)