At first blush, it appears to be one of those classic win-win deals. Colgate-Palmolive
According to the companies, the deal will cover Colgate's bleach business in Canada, Columbia, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It also will involve the Agua Jane brand in Uruguay, and Colgate is granting Clorox a transitional license for the Ajax brand of bleach in Columbia, The Dominican Republic, and Ecuador.
For Colgate, the sale should result in improved profit margins for its Latin American and North American units and will allow the company to focus on its oral and personal care businesses, which generally have been more profitable. More immediately, Colgate anticipates that the sales will result in a cumulative after-tax gain of approximately $70, much of which may be offset by charges relating to a restructuring plan that the company initiated in 2004.
From Clorox's perspective, the deal is expected to dilute the company's earnings by three or four cents in the second half of this (June 2007) fiscal year. It also expects the new acquisitions to be something of a drag on earnings for a year or longer as it endeavors to revitalize the acquired brands. The new brands are expected to add about $77 million to the Clorox top line in the first year. All of the brands being acquired have leading positions in their respective markets, except in Columbia, where Clorox is already No. 1.
And for Fools with a propensity to miss their mouths during holiday meals, Clorox also is offering Dr. Landry's Free Holiday Stain Hotline. The hotline can be accessed 24 hours a day during the holiday season at 1-877-Stain-411. Dr. Landry is also known as Harold Baker, a Clorox senior scientist.
From an investment perspective, I'd advise Fools to continue to observe the changes taking place at Clorox, but wait to build a position in the company. Knauss just joined the company in October, after running Coke's $7 billion North America division, and while the deal with Colgate ultimately could be beneficial, both it and Knauss seemingly require more observation. In addition, Clorox does not trade at a meaningful discount to Colgate or Proctor & Gamble
For related Foolishness:
Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. To see what other great companies are selections, take a free 30-day trial today.
Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. However, he probably will require Dr. Landry's help during the holidays. He welcomes your comments or questions.