P&G says it's still interested in acquisitions

AP News
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Posted: Nov 20, 2009 3:20 PM

Procter & Gamble Co. is still interested in buying, and says size doesn't matter.

Jon Moeller, the Cincinnati-based company's chief financial officer, Friday told analysts in New York that the maker of Tide detergent, Olay skin cream and Vicks medicines could pursue additions to its household brands, beauty products, or personal health care lines.

He declined to discuss any specific possibilities. Recent reports have said P&G has been eyeing Sara Lee Corp.'s air freshener business.

Moeller said the company would consider buys both big and small.

"We're not constrained by size," he said, but added that any deal would have to be able to clear regulatory hurdles and must have a willing partner because P&G won't pursue hostile takeovers.

Since a blockbuster $57 billion acquisition of the Gillette Co. in 2005, P&G's buying has been of relatively small businesses such as this year's purchases of the men's skin care line Zirh and grooming business The Art of Shaving.

Meanwhile, it has sold off its prescription drug business, Folgers coffee, and some smaller brands.

Moeller didn't rule out more sales but wouldn't elaborate. Analysts think P&G is interested in selling off its Pringles snacks, Duracell batteries or Braun electrical appliances brands.

P&G shares were off 28 cents, to $61.87, in Friday afternoon trading.