Unilever buys majority stake in Chinese water purification company

SHANGHAI Sun Mar 9, 2014 7:54am EDT

Unilever Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Polman speaks at the WE Day UK event at Wembley Arena in London March 7, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Unilever Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Polman speaks at the WE Day UK event at Wembley Arena in London March 7, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Unilever PLC (ULVR.L) (UNc.AS) has bought a majority stake in water purification company Qinyuan, its biggest Chinese acquisition in ten years, the consumer goods company said on Sunday without disclosing what it paid.

Unilever acquired a controlling stake in Qinyuan Group Co Ltd, which makes water purifiers, drinking water equipment and water treatment membranes and will complement its existing purification business under the Pureit brand, its website said.

"This deal will more than double the size of our water purification business and will bring together complementary technology from Pureit and Qinyuan," the press release quoted Unilever global CEO Paul Polman as saying.

Qinyuan generated sales of about 140 million euros ($200 million) in 2013, Unilever said.

The Chinese company's founder will stay on as CEO, it said.

(Reporting by Gabriel Wildau and Samuel Shen; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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