Johnson Products, a hair care line including well-known Black household staples such as Afro Sheen and Ultra Sheen, was recently sold by Procter & Gamble Co. and is now back in Black hands.
The Black hair care line was founded in 1954 in Chicago by George Ellis Johnson Sr. and became the first Black-run company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It was bought by an investment group that includes Texas couple Eric Brown and Renee Cottrell-Brown, reports The Dallas-Morning News. The couple had previously been owners of rival hair care company Pro-Line International. Brown will be the CEO of Johnson Products and his wife will be the company’s executive vice president. The company’s sales last year were more than $23 million.
“I’ve been looking for an acquisition for some time, and Johnson Products was at the top of my list. Fact is there aren’t too many deals being made today. It takes a special situation like this to get people to think past the economy,” Brown said, reports The Dallas-Morning News. The couple plans to move one of the companies from Los Angeles to Dallas. Specific details about the deal have not been released.
The founder of the iconic company is pleased with the purchase.
“It makes me extremely happy to know that the brands of Johnson Products will be owned by people who understand the African-American consumer market and care about the brands,” Johnson Sr. told the paper.