Unilever buys Vermont's Seventh Generation

Vermont Business Magazine Unilever announced Monday that it has signed an agreement to acquire Seventh Generation, Inc, the North American home and personal care products company. Based in Burlington, Seventh Generation is a pioneer in corporate responsibility and sustainable product innovations, including plant-based detergents and household cleaners. The company’s turnover exceeded US $200 million in 2015 and it has seen double digit compounded annual growth over the last 10 years. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that the deal is worth "roughly $700 million." The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. Unilever is also the parent company of another iconic Vermont company, Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc, which it acquired in 2001.

Actress Maya Rudolph pitches Seventh Generation laundry detergent. Seventh Generation photo.

Seventh Generation has a comprehensive product portfolio and a distribution network covering the ‘natural’ category in grocery, mass merchandise and e-commerce channels. According to Vermont Business Magazine, it employs 109, almost all of whom are based in Vermont.

Nitin Paranjpe, President of Unilever’s Home Care business said: “Seventh Generation has long been a disruptor in the US marketplace, leading the industry in sustainable innovation while attracting new generations of conscious consumers. This addition to Unilever’s product portfolio will help us meet rising demand for high-quality products with a purpose.”

Kees Kruythoff, President of Unilever North America, added: “We’re thrilled to add Seventh Generation to our brand portfolio, providing us with the opportunity to accelerate growth with our retail partners and connect in new ways with consumers. Adding Seventh Generation to Unilever’s portfolio of purpose-driven brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Dove demonstrates our continued commitment to the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.”

Seventh Generation CEO John Replogle said: “For 28 years, Seventh Generation has been creating products that are not only effective but also designed with environmental and human health in mind while demonstrating that business can have a greater purpose, serving not just profit but people and the planet as well. Today marks the next chapter and we’re proud to join Unilever and its shared vision for purpose-led business on a global scale. Working together we are confident we can have a positive impact on the health of billions of people around the world, truly fulfilling our mission of nurturing the next seven generations while transforming global commerce.”

About Unilever:

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Personal Care, Food, Home Care and Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. It has 169,000 employees and generated sales of €53.3 billion in 2015. Over half (58%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, Marmite, Magnum and Lynx.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan commits to:

  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
  • Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2016 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the sixth year running. Unilever was ranked the most sustainable food and beverage company in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Scorecard in 2016 for the second year.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com. For more information on the USLP:www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/

About Seventh Generation

Established in 1988, in Burlington, Vermont, Seventh Generation is one of the leading US brands of household and personal care products. The company lives its commitment of "caring today for seven generations of tomorrows," with products formulated to provide mindful solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home -- and for the community and environment outside of it. A pioneer in corporate responsibility, Seventh Generation continually improves ways to reduce its environmental impact, increase performance and safety, and create a more sustainable supply chain. To learn more about Seventh Generation products and business practices, locate a retailer in your area, or review Seventh Generation's Corporate Consciousness Report, visit www.seventhgeneration.com.

LONDON & ROTTERDAM, Netherlands--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Unilever 9.19.2016