Colgate Purchasing Tom’s of Maine - Enters Fast-Growing Natural Products Segment

(March 21, 2006 - New York, New York)—Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL), as part of its strategy to focus on its higher-margin oral and personal care businesses, today announced that it has agreed to purchase Tom’s of Maine, the leader in the fast-growing Naturals market in the United States.

The U.S. market for Natural oral and personal care products is valued at $3 billion and is growing at 15 percent per year. Tom’s of Maine, founded in 1970 by Tom and Kate Chappell, pioneered natural toothpaste, mouthwash, and deodorant, and is the #1 Oral Care Brand in the Natural category. Tom’s of Maine gives Colgate the opportunity to enter the fast growing health and specialty trade channel where Tom’s toothpaste is the clear market leader commanding 60% share of that channel.

Reuben Mark, Colgate’s Chairman and CEO said, “We have great admiration for Tom and Kate Chappell and the values-based business they have created. The combination of Colgate, the global leader in Oral care, and Tom’s of Maine, the leader in the Naturals category, is an exciting partnership with growth opportunities for both companies. And we’re especially pleased that Tom Chappell will remain on to lead the company, which will continue to be based in Kennebunk, Maine.

Ian Cook, Colgate’s President and COO, said, “This acquisition allows Colgate to strongly enter a completely new channel of distribution and establishes us as the only global oral care company in that channel. This bodes well for additional opportunities in other high margin categories such as personal care. Further, our truly global reach will help speed the growth of the naturals health and specialty business outside the US. With gross profit margins a full ten percentage points higher than Colgate’s margin, Tom’s of Maine is a logical acquisition as we continue to prioritize our global oral and personal care categories.”

Tom’s of Maine co-founders Tom and Kate Chappell said, “We chose Colgate as our partner because they have the global expertise to help take Tom’s of Maine to the next level. Just as importantly, we see Colgate as an excellent fit with our own cultural values. Colgate has a commitment to product excellence, to global efforts to promote oral health and has a 200-year history of caring for consumers and for giving back to the community. We are excited by Colgate’s desire to continue Tom’s of Maine leadership and heritage in natural care.”

The transaction will be structured as an all cash acquisition of 84 percent of the outstanding shares of Tom’s of Maine for an aggregate price of approximately $100 million, subject to adjustment at closing, which is expected in the second quarter of this year. The effect on Colgate’s profits is expected to be neutral in 2006 and increasingly positive each year thereafter. The Chappell family will retain a 16 percent ownership interest, with additional share purchase opportunities for Colgate over the coming years.

The purchase is subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions.

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About Colgate-Palmolive: Colgate-Palmolive is a leading global consumer products company, tightly focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition. Colgate sells its products in over 200 countries and territories around the world under such internationally recognized brand names as Colgate, Palmolive, Mennen, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Protex, Sorriso, Kolynos, Elmex, Ajax, Axion, Soupline, and Suavitel, as well as Hill's Science Diet and Hill's Prescription Diet pet foods. For more information about Colgate's global business, visit the Company's web site at

About Tom’s of Maine: Tom's of Maine creates effective personal care products using simple, natural ingredients derived from plants and minerals. Tom's of Maine products—toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, deodorant, and soap—do not contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors, flavors, or animal ingredients; are tested for safety and efficacy without the use of animals; are biodegradable; and are packaged in earth-friendly ways. Guided by a philosophy of “Natural Care” they donate 10% of profits to charitable organizations; encourage employees to use 5% of their paid time in volunteer work; adhere to standards of natural, sustainable, and responsible; and do not test on animals. Visit for more information.

This press release and the related webcast (other than historical information) may contain forward-looking statements. Actual events or results may differ materially from those statements. Investors should consult the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the information set forth under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Statements” in the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005) for information about factors that could cause such differences. Copies of these filings may be obtained upon request from the Company's Investor Relations Department or the Company’s web site at

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