Accantia, which owns Lil-lets tampons and the Simple skincare range, has been sold to private equity group Duke Street Capital for £225m.

Sales in the year to December 31 2002 were £96m, boosted by the launch of new products.

Chief executive of Accantia, Geoff Percy, said: "Simple facial Skincare has doubled its market value since the buy-out and through our innovation, Lil-lets, our feminine hygiene brand, has brought the first major product development in 50 years to what has been a static market."