The London-based giant, known for its popular brands such as Dove soaps and Axe deodorants, is looking to gain a toe hold into the growing market for “natural” cleaning products. Unilever had been in preliminary talks with a different company, Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. Actress Alba’s company claims to avoid any harsh chemicals in its cleaning products. Honest Co’s asking price was $1 billion, but the deal seems to have fallen through and is unlikely to happen.
Seventh Generation was founded in 1988 and is based in Vermont. The company has been growing steadily, and had sales of over $200 million last year. In 2007 an investment deal valued the company at $100 million.
“We look at this as having a multiplier effect for our business,” said Seventh Generation Chief Executive John Replogle, who will stay on to run the company. “We always aspired to be a billion-dollar brand. We see this as a springboard as opposed to throwing in the towel.”