Dollar Shave Club sold to Unilever

Unilever has bought Dollar Shave Club, the men's grooming company credited with disrupting the category and offering alternatives to more mainstream brands carried in stores.

The purchase pits Unilever more directly against Procter & Gamble, which owns Gillette. Unilever owns the Axe and Dove personal care brands.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Fortune cited sources that estimate the purchase price at $1 billion in cash.

Dollar Shave Club has been something of a darling among investors and has raised more than $160 million in venture funding since its debut in 2012. The company counts 3.2 million members who order razors, blades and other consumables, including Boogies hair styling products, Big Cloud men's skin care and One Wipe Charlies daily wipes.

"Dollar Shave Club is an innovative and disruptive male grooming brand with incredibly deep connections to its diverse and highly engaged consumers," said Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America. "In addition to its unique consumer and data insights, Dollar Shave Club is the category leader in its direct-to-consumer space. We plan to leverage the global strength of Unilever to support Dollar Shave Club in achieving its full potential in terms of offering and reach."

Michael Dubin, Dollar Shave Club founder and CEO, will continue as CEO. "DSC couldn't be happier to have the world's most innovative and progressive consumer-product company in our corner," he said. "We have long admired Unilever's purpose-driven business leadership and its category expertise is unmatched. We are excited to be part of the family."

Dubin, speaking at the Shoptalk conference in May, said the company was still focused on growth as opposed to profitability. "We choose growth, we're not profitable yet," he said. "We can be profitable at any point and by [the fourth quarter] we can choose both."

The deal is expected to close by the third quarter of this year.

For more:
- see this Fortune story
- see this Unilever announcement