Scottsdale-based Dial has a couple of new products to pitch. The soap maker’s parent, Henkel KGaA of Dusseldorf, Germany, said Tuesday that it traded its 28.8 percent share of California-based The Clorox Co. for popular cleaning product Soft Scrub, the insecticide Combat, a couple of Korean brands and cash.
The deal is valued at $2.9 billion. Henkel expects it to qualify as a tax-free exchange under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
When it bought Dial in March, Henkel had said that it likely would shed its stake in Clorox.
Dial will add Soft Scrub and Combat to its portfolio, which includes Dial soaps, Purex laundry detergents, Renuzit air fresheners and Armour canned meats. "It rounds out our home care business unit," Dial spokeswoman Cindy Demers said.
"Henkel had been looking to strengthen its position in North America. This shows Henkel’s confidence in Dial and the part we are playing in the North America market."
Dial has 2,900 employees worldwide, about 600 of them in Scottsdale. Demers said the company may get "a handful of (former) Clorox people" to boost its local employment base.
Earlier in the month, Henkel had reported North American sales growth of more than 20 percent for the third quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, mostly all attributed to the Dial acquisition.
"The double-digit growth rates in respect to sales in North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific confirm our regional strategy," Henkel chairman Ulrich Lehner said in a statement at the time.
"Developments at Laundry & Home Care and Cosmetics/ Toiletries also show that our market initiatives are beginning to bite."
Worldwide sales in the company’s Laundry & Home Care business sector were up 30.4 percent, "due to the Dial acquisition and positive developments in Eastern Europe and Latin America," Henkel reported in its financial release.