CLEARWATER, United States — Unilever NV, Henkel & Co KgaA AG , L'Oréal SA and other companies have submitted first-round bids in the auction for OGX shampoo maker Vogue International LLC, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
A deal could value Vogue at $2.5 billion (£1.7 billion) to $3 billion, said the sources, who requested anonymity because the information was confidential.
The bids came just three years after a lawsuit hampered Vogue's effort to sell itself in a deal worth more than $800 million. Buyout firm Carlyle Group LP acquired a 49 percent stake in the company a year later.
Vogue has annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of around $150 million, up from around $80 million in 2013, the people said.
Vogue, founded in 1987 by Chief Executive Todd Christopher, makes hair care and body products, including shampoos, conditioners and styling products, mainly for the mass market.
Unilever, Vogue and L'Oreal could not be immediately reached for comment. Henkel and Carlyle declined to comment.
Henkel, the German maker of Schwarzkopf shampoo, was a front-runner to buy Procter and Gamble's hair care unit Wella last year.
Beauty company Coty Inc ultimately won that asset in a $12.5 billion Reverse Morris Trust deal.
Unilever's haircare brands include Dove, Suave and TRESemmé, while L'Oréal sells hair products through its namesake brands.
Clearwater, Florida-based Vogue in 2013 settled a class action lawsuit accusing it of misleading customers into thinking its Organix shampoo and personal care products were wholly organic. The company paid $6.5 million into a fund to compensate consumers and changed the brand name to OGX.
The name change did not stifle OGX's growth, which has been propelled by its colourful packaging which stands out in drugstore aisles. Vogue has focussed on increasing its presence in drug stores, shifting marketing dollars from consumer advertising to buying shelf space.
OGX's hair and beauty products include argan oil shampoo and coconut milk body wash. Vogue's line of products also includes Maui Moisture and Proganix hair care.
By Lauren Hirsch; editor: Richard Chang.