Durex Buys KY Brand

In a move that seems, well, oddly slick and not in the least bit tacky, Reckitt Benckiser, owner of the Durex brand, has bought KY Lubricants from the Johnson and Johnson company.

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The products are still going to be produced by the same manufacturing firm and in the same factory, but Reckitt Benckiser is now responsible for managing the brand. It’s a good business deal on Reckitt Benckiser’s part– while their condoms are very well known, KY is one of the leading names in lubrication. It’s also one of the few brands that are available over the counter at pharmacies and supermarkets in the US.

In fact, just last year, KY had over $100 million in sales– primarily in the US, the UK, and Brazil.

One big reason for the sale? The company reports that KY has a high rating of trust among female consumers. Following on the heels of the creation of Lovability Condoms, as well as the recent rebranding of the female condom as a star player in the safer sex arena, could this mean that Durex is looking to expand into marketing their products towards women? Only time will tell.

It’s also too early to say whether or not Durex condoms will start showing up lubricated with KY jellies and lubes. While a consolidation of the two might make sense on paper, Durex already has its own brand of lubricants– Durex Play. It seems likely that KY will still be continued to be produced pretty much just the same as it was before. No word yet on if Durex will consolidate their resources from Durex Play under the better-known lube company name, or if they’ll start producing KY brand condoms. Again, only time will tell.

The amount the brand was purchased for was not disclosed to the press. The purchase is expected to be completed by mid-2014.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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