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Unilever to acquire Sundial Brands of Amityville

Richelieu Dennis, seen on Sept. 9, 2015, is

Richelieu Dennis, seen on Sept. 9, 2015, is CEO of Sundial Brands. Credit: Uli Seit

Sundial Brands, an Amityville-based manufacturer of lotions, soaps, shampoos and hair-treatment products primarily aimed at African-American women, will be acquired by London-based consumer goods giant Unilever.

The acquisition of minority-owned Sundial is part of an initiative by Unilever to increase its offering of beauty, hair and skin-care products aimed at black women, the company said Monday in a statement.

Sundial’s brands include SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage and Madam C.J. Walker.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed and a Unilever representative declined to comment beyond the information provided in a company statement.

Latraviette Smith-Wilson, senior vice president of communications for Sundial Brands, said she could not say whether the acquisition would affect the company’s employees on Long Island.

“The transaction is expected to close in quarter one of 2018 and there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done before then,” she said. “Both companies are in the process of assessing what the needs are . . . until then it’s business as usual.”

Sundial employs about 300 people at facilities in Amityville and Farmingdale. In 2015 the private equity firm Bain Capital LLC purchased a minority stake in the family-owned company for an undisclosed amount.

“The Sundial team has built differentiated and on-trend premium brands serving multicultural and millennial consumers that enhance our existing portfolio,” Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, said in the release.

“Sundial is an important addition to our U.S. portfolio of purpose-driven companies, which includes Ben & Jerry’s and Seventh Generation.”

According to the release, Sundial Brands expects revenue this year of about $240 million. The company, founded in 1991, will operate as a stand-alone business and continue to be led by chief executive Richelieu Dennis, the release said.

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