P&G In Deal To Buy Clairol

Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble has agreed to buy Clairol from Bristol-Myers Squibb for $4.95 billion in cash after topping a $4.5 billion bid by Japan’s Kao Corp.

The deal, which would give P&G such hair-care brands as Herbal Essences and Nice `n Easy, is subject to regulatory approval. P&G currently controls more than 30% of the U.S. shampoo market, Clairol about 10%.

The acquisition would be the largest for the consumer giant and comes as it is restructuring and cutting 16% of its staff. The purchase is expected to add $1.6 billion in sales — $900 million in hair care, $700 million in coloring — to P&G?s existing $7.4 billion beauty-care business.