Gillette Co., the maker of Oral-B toothbrushes, agreed to buy the Rembrandt brand of teeth-whitening products from closely held Den-Mat Corp.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. It may be completed in the second quarter, Boston-based Gillette said. Den-Mat, based in Santa Maria, Calif., had about $73 million in 2003 sales from Rembrandt whitening toothpastes, bleaching kits, mouth rinses and breath fresheners.
Rembrandt gives Gillette, the world's No. 1 maker of razors and batteries, a share of the estimated $500 million in annual U.S. sales of at-home whitening products, which are more profitable than toothbrushes and toothpastes. Procter & Gamble Co. dominates the market with Crest Whitestrips, followed by Colgate-Palmolive Co.'s Simply White whitening gel.
"Rembrandt is a nice little niche brand," said Rita Freedman, a Philadelphia-based analyst at PNC Advisors, which has about $51 billion in assets including Gillette shares. "It's a tuck-in acquisition for Gillette. Whitening is a category that seems to have good growth."