Speculation had been mounting over the future of the Sure brand, after a report in the Wall Street Journal at the beginning of the week stated that P&G were in advanced negotiations with Innovative Brands at the beginning of the week.
According to a Reuters report, the deal has been on the table since mid-August, although P&G has made no official acknowledgement until the deal was signed today.
The sale marks the second deal for Innovative Brands, which also bought up P&G's Pert Plus hair care brand back in July of this year, the month that Innovative Brands company was set up.
The Phoenix-based company has built wants to establish itself in the cosmetics field by establishing a portfolio of well-known brands from major companies that no longer want them and is expecting to make further acquisitions in the coming months.
Originally launched in 1973, the Sure brand is now said to be the number one unscented deodorant, is recongnized world-wide and should provide a major opportunity for Innovative Brands.
After buying up such brands, Innovative Brands then concentrates on repositioning them, extending the range and, ultimately, increasing sales.
The fact that P&G has decided to sell the Sure brand will leave it more resources to concentrate on increasing sales of its other two deodorant brands, which are more targeted.
Recently sales of gender-specific deodorants have been the driving force in a segment that has been largely stagnant for some years. Recently Unilever has commented that rising sales of its Axe deodorant range have been one of the key driving forces in its latest results, driven by a sex-laced marketing campaign aimed specifically at younger males.
Statistics from Packaged Facts' latest market report entitled Antiperspirants and Deodorants in the US, show that in 2005 sales grew 2.3 per cent to reach $1.9bn, giving reason to believe that sales will top the all-important $2bn mark by 2010.
The biggest difference to the market has been the growth in sales of deodorants aimed at teenage boys and men. Evidently those sex-laced Axe ads helped to push sales up by 67 per cent between 2004 and 2005.