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Beauty Products Online

February 16, 2000|Bloomberg News

Unilever, the world's largest maker of ice cream and personal-care products, said it and IVillage Inc. will invest $200 million to set up an Internet company aimed at selling beauty products to women. Anglo-Dutch Unilever will provide capital, sponsorship and promotional activities. New York-based IVillage, which runs a network of Web sites for women, will contribute its Beauty Channel and online expertise. The venture, to be based in New York, is expected to generate revenue through advertising, sponsorship and the sale of beauty products online, and will be profitable more quickly than the average for start-up companies, Unilever spokesman Christiaan Brakman said. Although the venture doesn't have capital needs at present, a future share sale isn't excluded, he said. Further financial details weren't disclosed. The value of goods and services sold on the Internet in Europe is expected to rise to $123 billion by 2003 from $3.2 billion in 1999, according to Forrester Research Inc. The more established U.S. market for online goods and services will increase to $328 billion in 2003 from $40 billion in 1999, Forrester said. IVillage closed up 81 cents at $20 on Nasdaq, while Unilever's American depositary receipts rose $1.19 to close at $23.13 on the NYSE.

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