S&N buys Wrights Coal Tar

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SMITH & NEPHEW, the healthcare company, has bought the Wrights Coal Tar soap brand from London International Group for pounds 2.4m cash, writes Martin Flanagan.

Smith & Nephew already makes and markets the soap brands Simple and Cidal, and also distributes Nivea on behalf of Beiersdorf.

John Robinson, chief executive of S&N, said: 'The acquisition further consolidates Smith & Nephew's position as a leading supplier to the consumer healthcare and toiletries market.'

The acquisition of Wrights Coal Tar will increase the company's share of the bath soap market to 7 per cent.

It will make S&N the fourth- biggest supplier in the UK. Wrights will be incorporated into the healthcare division.

Production will be transferred to the company's toiletries factory at Corby. An S&N spokesman said the acquisition provided good synergies with its international consumer businesses.

LIG, the condoms manufacturer, said the sale was in line with its policy of getting rid of beauty brands. The proceeds will be used to cut gearing, although precise figures were not disclosed.