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MENNEN IS UP FOR SALE

 MENNEN IS UP FOR SALE
 NEW YORK, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Mennen Co., a 113-year-old,


family-owned marketer of such familiar toiletries brands as Speed Stick and Skin Bracer, is up for sale, according to an exclusive report in the Nov. 11 issue of Advertising Age.
 Mennen's vice chairman-chief financial officer, Leonard Sichel, told Advertising Age that the sale will include Mennen's core toiletries business as well as its paper party-goods subsidiaries, Paper Art and C.A. Reed.
 "The (Mennen) family made this decision just recently," Sichel said, adding that a sale could be negotiated by year-end.
 Japan's Kao Corp., through its Kao Corp. of America and Andrew Jergens Co. units, has emerged as the most likely buyer, industry sources told Advertising Age. Other potential buyers include Gillette Co., Colgate-Palmolive Co., Unilever, Procter & Gamble Co., L'Oreal and Henkel Group.
 Mennen is a multinational company with consolidated sales estimated between $500 million and $600 million, and international distribution, including Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Canada, France and Italy. The core toiletries business generates more than $300 million in sales, sources say, with the balance of sales by Paper Art and C.A. Reed.
 Industry consultant Allan Mottus speculated that two primary factors are motivating the sales. "In part, it's a generational thing,' Mottus told Advertising Age. "No one has stepped forward from the youngest generation to take charge and build the company. Also, Mennen is acknowledging it doesn't have the war chest to spend against the giants."
 An internal memo distributed to employees at a Mennen unit indicated growing competition in the toiletries market promoted the planned sale.
 Mennen has already felt the pinch in the $1.2 billion U.S. antiperspirant/deodorant market. In 1990, Degree antiperspirant from Helene Curtis Industries and Powerstick from Unilever knocked Speed Stick's dominant 16.5 percent market share back to 15 percent in the U.S.
 The trend has been more upbeat for Mennen in the $400 million U.S. baby toiletries market, where its Baby Magic line is successfully challenging Johnson & Johnson, and has already overtaken the Johnson's brand in baby bath products.
 -0- 11/11/91
 /CONTACT: Meryl Suben of Advertising Age, 212-210-0716/ CO: Mennen Co. ST: New York IN: HOU SU: TNM TS-OS -- NY014 -- 2899 11/11/91 09:12 EST
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Date:Nov 11, 1991
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