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Unilever to Buy Dollar Shave Club, Known for Cheeky Viral Videos

by CNBC / / Source: CNBC.com
The logo of the Unilever group is seen at the Miko factory in Saint-Dizier, France, May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

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Unilever is buying Dollar Shave Club, the male grooming brand that co-founder Michael Dubin started from his apartment in 2012.

The consumer products giant said Dollar Shave Club, which has expanded from selling razors online for $1 apiece to offering products including bathroom wipes called "One Wipe Charlies," would bring "a unique male grooming perspective" to its personal care category.

Dollar Shave Club had turnover of $152 million in 2015 and was on track to turn over more than $200 million in 2016, according to Unilever's statement, which did not put a value on the transaction.

Fortune, however, cited multiple sources as saying that the deal was worth $1 billion in cash, adding that Dollar Shave Club had raised more than $160 million in venture capital funding so far, putting its value at $539 billion.

A Unilever spokesman declined to comment beyond the statement.

Dollar Shave Club shot to online fame in 2012 with a viral video that featured Dubin, a giant teddy bear and the tag line "Our blades are ******* great." Dubin later told CNBC that the video cost just $4,500 to make but was so successful that the company ran out of inventory within hours of it appearing on YouTube.

A second video, titled "Let's talk about #2" was released to promote the launch of "One Wipe Charlies," which are effectively baby wipes designed for men.

Dubin, who started the company with a friend's father, Mark Levine, will remain as CEO of Dollar Shave Club when it joins Unilever. He said in a statement that the company couldn't be happier with the deal.

"We have long admired Unilever's purpose-driven business leadership and its category expertise is unmatched," he said. "We are excited to be part of the family."

Read More From CNBC: Dollar Shave Club Voted One of CNBC's Disruptor 50 in 2015.

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