No, packaged-goods giant Unilever (NYSE: UL) isn't rumored to be courting the bite-sized Hain Celestial, although I do stand by the plausibility of such a deal. Rather, consumer-products company Clorox (NYSE: CLX) -- best known for its namesake cleaning products -- is said to be shopping around its two auto-care brands, STP and Armor All. That's according to The Wall Street Journal, which in turn cited the remarkably ubiquitous "people familiar with the matter."

This strikes me as surprising only from the standpoint that interested buyers are unlikely to storm the gates, in my view. WSJ's sources indicated that Clorox would ask roughly $800 million for the two brands, or a whopping 2.6 times annual brand sales.

For perspective, Clorox shares trade at a price-to-sales ratio of 1.6, and Unilever not long ago agreed to pay roughly 1.7 times segment sales for Sara Lee's personal-care portfolio. Unless I've missed something, shiny tires and well-lubricated pistons don't hold the same sway over cautious consumers, as does the promise of rosy cheeks and good breath. Which is to say that Clorox -- if we can believe the unnamed sources -- may have to settle for much less.

But even at a lower price, potential buyers are probably few in number. Because the STP and Armor All brands are sold domestically as well as internationally, a buyer would likely need to have a similar geographic footprint in order to take full advantage of the brands' value. That rules out U.S.-focused auto parts and accessory retailers such as O'Reilly Automotive (Nasdaq: ORLY) and Advance Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP), both of which sell related products under their own brands.

A global company such as Unilever, to which investment bankers have reportedly put out feelers, is a closer match, but even here I have my doubts. If the auto-care market doesn't fit with Clorox's core product focus, I don't see why Unilever would see it as enhancing its own portfolio, which includes the brands Dove and Slim-Fast, in addition to internationally marketed household cleaners such as Cif and Domestos bleach.

In this regard, ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) is a more likely candidate. The company's Mobil 1 line of engine-care products would potentially provide valuable distribution and cross-sell synergies, particularly at retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), which currently stocks Mobil 1, STP, and Armor All products. The question, however, is whether the $323 billion market cap ExxonMobil would even bother with such a small acquisition, especially when it could potentially cannibalize existing sales.

Ultimately, Clorox isn't alone in attempting to rejigger its product portfolio. Industry behemoth Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) has been doing much of the same, and may even be considering a sale of its Pringles snack-food brand. Such activities often do, however, create a distraction -- both for management and investors. Whether Wall Street's skittishness about Clorox's rumored portfolio shake-up results in a temporary discount on its shares, well, we'll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, my car's dashboard, come to think of it, is looking a bit dull ...

Related Foolishness:

Wal-Mart Stores is a Motley Fool Inside Value choice. Unilever is a Global Gains recommendation. Clorox, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever are Income Investor recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Procter & Gamble. Try any of our Foolish newsletters, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Mike Pienciak holds no financial interest in any company mentioned in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.