Unilever Acquires Sundial Brands; Partnership Leads To $100M Fund For WOC Entrepreneurs
Today Unilever announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Sundial Brands, the hair and skincare company behind Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture, and Shea Moisture, and the news is a big deal for women of color, especially those who are entrepreneurs.
As part of the agreement, Unilever and Sundial are creating the New Voices Fund which will make an initial investment of $50 million to empower women of color entrepreneurs. This fund builds on Sundial’s history of servicing the unmet needs of consumers of color “through its robust innovation pipeline, product offerings and purpose-driven business model,” a press release noted, adding that the plan is to eventually scale the fund to $100 million by attracting other investors.
“We are excited to partner with Richelieu and his team to enable Sundial to bring its unique product offerings and community impact to more people around the world,” said Alan Jope, President, Unilever Personal Care. “We look forward to continuing to grow the business and make an even bigger impact on society through Sundial’s community programs.”
Under the acquisition terms, Sundial Brands will operate as a standalone unit within Unilever, with Sundial’s founder, Richelieu Dennis, continuing as CEO and Executive Chairman. Effective January 1, 2018, Esi Eggleston Bracey will assume the role of Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Unilever North America Personal Care, working with Dennis to further growth of Sundial Brands.
“I’ve always wanted Sundial Brands to be an inspiration to other minority-owned companies of how a business against all odds can achieve excellence, have significant social impact in our communities and be successful on a world stage,” said Dennis. “I am excited Sundial and Unilever have created this partnership, rooted in a purpose-driven ethos, that represents an incredible opportunity to take our Community Commerce economic empowerment and impact model to another level. I’ve enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Esi and look forward to working with her to continue to change the game in beauty, personal care and community building.”