Unilever’s shake continues with addition of haircare brand K18

Stylish: K18 has celebrity fans including model Hailey Bieber

Unilever’s shake up of its portfolio has continued apace with the addition of haircare brand K18.

The consumer goods giant announced the deal after it sold many of its less successful brands earlier this month.

Chief executive Hein Schumacher plans to streamline the business by getting rid of brands that were not seen to be contributing to the bottom line.

Unilever did not reveal how much it had paid for K18, which was founded just three years ago in 2020.

The haircare company has quickly amassed a loyal following with video reviews of its ranges going viral on Tik Tok.

It sells products that help to repair damaged or unhealthy hair with celebrity fans including model Hailey Bieber and singer Selena Gomez.

A range of pricey products include a hair oil for £52 and a hair mask for £70, as well as shampoo and conditioner. K18 will sit within Unilever’s premium beauty division – known as Unilever Prestige – which includes skincare brands Paula’s Choice and Dermalogica.

Vasiliki Petrou, Unilever Prestige chief executive, said they were ‘thrilled’ with the addition of K18.

Earlier this month, Unilever announced it was selling more than 20 brands, including Timotei shampoo and Impulse body spray, to private equity firm Yellow Wood Partners. It also ditched its Dollar Shave Club business in October to US private equity giant Nexus.

Schumacher, who took over from Alan Jope in July, has come under pressure to focus on the firm’s bottom line above social justice messaging. Unveiling a turnaround plan in October, he said he would stop ‘force-fitting’ a woke ethos onto brands as sometimes political stances can be an ‘unwelcome distraction’. Schumacher’s strategy will focus on 30 ‘power’ brands which make up 70 per cent of Unilever’s turnover. These include staples such as Dove, Vaseline and Ben & Jerry’s.

Some investors have urged the consumer goods giant to ditch ‘virtue signalling’ and focus on boosting profits. Last year, Unilever was blasted by investor Terry Smith for ‘ludicrous’ virtue-signalling on everything from sustainability to Knorr stock cubes. Schumacher is facing an uphill battle to wow the City.

Shares in the British firm whose brands include Dove soap and Magnum ice cream have dipped 10 per cent in the past year.

In its third-quarter results, Unilever posted a 5.2 per cent rise in sales, boosted by price increases.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk