Curad, an iconic American brand since 1952, enjoys a reputation among its users for quality, value and innovation in the first aid category. A portfolio brand of Beiersdorf AG, marketed through its U.S. affiliate, Beiersdorf Inc. (collectively, “Beiersdorf” or “the Company”), Curad is the #3 selling consumer brand in the US with total brand awareness of 96%. Curad has been very successful providing consumers with the right mix of quality and value while continuing to offer innovative first aid solutions such as Ouchless pads, Extreme high-performance adhesive bandages and the first silver bandage for expedited healing. Curad also looks to meet the needs of the entire family, offering a popular line of children’s adhesive bandages designed with character images licensed from Dreamworks (e.g., Shrek) and DC Comics (e.g., Superman), among others.
“Beiersdorf has held a long-term relationship with the key principals at Sawaya Partners spanning more than a decade. Together, we have completed a number of transactions that have added a number of great brands and geographies to Beiersdorf’s portfolio. When it came time to divest our Curad brand in the United States, we naturally sought Sawaya Partners’ expertise. As expected, they performed superbly and worked hand in hand with our local management and M&A teams to make this a seamless and flawless execution. We have great respect for their industry understanding, quality of execution, in-depth contacts and unique insights and again, they have come through with a great outcome for Beiersdorf.”
THOMAS-B. QUAAS EXECUTIVE BOARD CHAIRMAN, BEIERSDORF AG
Following a detailed strategic review of its North American portfolio, Beiersdorf determined that a realignment of its businesses in the U.S. would be a critical component of its strategy to realize the full growth potential of its core skin care product lines (e.g., Nivea) and maximize returns to shareholders. Sawaya Partners had worked with Beiersdorf on previous assignments and enjoyed a long standing relationship with the Company’s principals. With a strong track record in consumer healthcare and personal care transactions as well as a deep understanding of the strategic buyer universe, Sawaya Partners was chosen to orchestrate a process for divesting Beiersdorf’s Curad business.
The essence of the sale process involved working with management to develop and present a credible and fully supported case that the Curad brand offered a greater opportunity than its existing footprint, and higher profit potential than its historical financial results. Among the most critical components of the case were: attractive consumer research findings and meaningful cost reduction opportunities. For example, a new consumer research study, commissioned on the basis of Sawaya Partners’ recommendation on the eve of the sale process, underscored Curad’s powerful brand attributes. Curad’s total brand awareness is above that of the #2 brand, and had increased since the last consumer research was conducted in 2001. Importantly, 44% of those surveyed currently use the Curad brand, and over a third purchased Curad in the past 6 months.
Several strategic buyers completed a full due diligence assessment of the business. Medline Industries, Inc. (“Medline”), a $2 billion privately-held healthcare supplies business, was able to realize the greatest strategic benefits from the Curad brand. Medline hoped to leverage the Curad brand to expand its overall presence in consumer channels. In addition, Medline’s strong commercial and institutional distribution network offered new channels for the Curad brand.
The price and contract terms exceeded Beiersdorf’s expectations, as did the prompt closing.