Selling Sustainability: Organic Startup Honest Company in Talks with Unilever

Sep 19, 2016 5:45 PM ET

Selling Sustainability: Organic Startup Honest Company in Talks with Unilever

Unilever is in talks to acquire the Honest Company, the organic personal care products business co-founded by actress Jessica Alba. According to the Wall Street Journal, the price is rumored to be north of $1 billion. That’s for a company with a reported $300 million in annual revenue. The sums involved are truly impressive. But even more significant is what the potential sale represents.

It’s the latest in a string of acquisitions of eco-friendly, sustainable and innovative companies by larger corporations. The bottom line reason for such deals is the larger companies’ distribution muscle and administrative backup that drives higher sales. Unilever bought Ben & Jerry’s in 2000, and last year, acquired the Dollar Shave Club. Group Danone owns eighty-five percent of Stonyfield Farm, Colgate-Palmolive owns Tom’s of Maine, and L’Oreal owns the Body Shop.

In every case, the result has been the expanded delivery of better products to more consumers who are looking for healthier, higher quality goods—and from companies that also operate with good business practices.

I’m John Howell for 3BL Media. 

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