Last week's reported $22 billion bid for the hygiene business of Swedish forestry and paper giant SCA (STO: SCA-B) by a group of PE firms has once again brought Europe's consumer products companies into sharp focus.
The reported offer arrived around the same time that shareholders approved the company's decision to split into two separate entities—a forest products company called SCA and a hygiene business named Essity.
These developments come as other European companies look to spin off operations. The decision by Unilever (AEX: UNA) to sell its spreads unit, for instance, is indicative of this.
SCA itself has played a part in that revival, selling the tabletop products division of its French arm in September to PE-backed Le Nappage. If this continues, Europe could be gearing up for a big year of divestitures.