Nivea-maker Beiersdorf starts producing disinfectants

FILE PHOTO: Shareholders of German consumer goods maker Beiersdorf are pictured on their way to the shareholder meeting in Hamburg, Germany March 31, 2016. Picture taken with long-time exposure. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Nivea-maker Beiersdorf has started serial production of medical grade disinfectants to support the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, the German consumer goods firm said on Thursday.

Beiersdorf said the medical hand sanitizers are being produced in two plants in Germany and one in Spain that usually produce Nivea and other skincare brands.

It will provide 500 tons of medical hand santitisers to clinics, hospitals, medical and nursing staff and other public services.

Along with Nivea, Beiersdorf also makes skincare brands like Eucerin and La Prairie and the company is also a leading manufacturers of adhesives.

Beiersdorf has not previously produced disinfectants but it checked which of its factories could be repurposed and has set up dedicated lines for the sanitizers that will not affects its regular production, a spokesperson said.

Louis Vuitton owner LVMH said on Sunday that its cosmetics unit would manufacture large quantities of hand disinfectant gel to help stave off a nationwide shortage across France as the coronavirus rapidly spreads.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson, editing by Thomas Escritt