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Last Updated: Friday, 20 May, 2005, 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
Unilever parts with perfume names
Jennifer Lopez
Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez is one of Coty's top names
Consumer goods giant Unilever is to sell its luxury perfume business, which produces Calvin Klein, Cerruti and Vera Wang fragrances, for $800m (438m).

The Anglo-Dutch group said it had agreed to sell Unilever Cosmetics International (UCI) to US health and beauty company Coty.

Unilever has been selling off non-core assets as part of its strategy to focus on key food and homecare products.

New York-based Coty's perfume brands include Joop and Jennifer Lopez.

Earlier this year, the company announced a deal to develop a series of perfumes with former Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker.

Scent of success?

"This is an excellent strategic move for Unilever and one that is fully in line with our strategy to focus on our core categories," said Unilever's chief executive, Patrick Cescau.

Unilever's leading consumer brands include Ben & Jerry's ice-cream, Dove soap and Pot Noodle snacks.

Under the terms of the deal, Unilever said it could receive additional payments depending on future sales at UCI.

Coty said its purchase of UCI, which generated sales of $600m last year, would boost its own sales in the US and Europe, as well as providing the company with a stronger presence in Asia.

It said it hoped to complete the deal within the next few months.

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