Jessica Alba's Honest Co. in $1B Takeover Talks

The Hollywood Reporter

Jessica Alba's consumer goods company Honest Co. is subject to a $1 billion takeover from European giant Unilever according to a report on Thursday in the Wall Street Journal. 

Unilever, the company behind Axe men's grooming products and Dove soap, is in talks to acquire Honest significantly below its $1.7 billion valuation that was set during a fundraising round last year sources familiar to the matter told the WSJ. Takeover talks are at an early stage and Honest could still rule out a deal and go ahead with a IPO. 

Alba co-founded Honest Co. in 2012 following a desire to create "a trustworthy lifestyle brand that touched everything in your home, that was nontoxic and affordable and convenient to get."

While talks are underway, Honest is still considering an initial public offering instead of a sale, especially given the $1 billion price Unilever is offering is $700 million less than the valuation set last year during a fundraising round.

Besides Alba, equity stakeholders in Honest include General Catalyst Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Fidelity Management & Research and Wellington Management.

If Honest is sold, it has pledged to pay some investors double their investment, according to the Journal.

Honest, which sells disposable diapers and beauty product primarily to young mothers, generates about $300 million in sales each year. The company was founded five years ago.

Unilever, best known for products like Dove Soap and Axe body spray, is looking to tap further into the market for the sort of "natural" products Honest is famous for.

Honest sells its products through its website via monthly subscriptions and at traditional retail outlets like Whole Food Markets and Target.

More to come....