Unilever has agreed to sell the global Sanex business to Colgate-Palmolive and acquire the company's laundry detergent brands.

The €672m (£584m) deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, comes after the European Commission told Unilever it had to offload the Sanex brand in Europe to gain clearance for its acquisition of Sara Lee’s European personal care business.

Sanex had net sales of £163m (€187m) last year, most in Western Europe.

Meanwhile, Unilever is buying Colgate-Palmolive's laundry detergent brands in Colombia for £132m (US$215m), subject to the disposal, adding the Fab, Lavomatic and Vel brands to its portfolio.

The deals see trademarks, formulations and other IP change hands but do not include manufacturing facilities.

“Our focus is on bolt-on acquisitions that can strengthen our existing portfolio and geographic presence, helping Unilever move closer to achieving our overall ambition of doubling the size of the business," said categories president Michael Polk.

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Unilever completes Sara Lee deal (6 December 2010)
Unilever must sell Sanex to get Sara Lee clearance (17 November 2010)
Sara Lee personal care kicks off Unilever return to acquisitions (3 October 2009)