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Ecover Buys Method, Creates ‘World’s Largest Green Cleaning Company’

Europe’s Ecover has bought eco-household cleaning product company Method for an undisclosed sum.

Private equity firm San Francisco Equity Partners, which owns Method, says the transaction will create the world’s largest green cleaning company, with global distribution. The companies say Ecover and Method will continue as separate brands.

Founded in 2000, Method’s biodegradable cleaning products can be found in more than 40,000 retail locations throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, the company says. According to San Francisco Equity Partners, since its initial investment, Method’s sales have grown more than 400 percent and the company is now the largest and fastest-growing green home care brand in the world.

Ecover, with operates out of Belgium and France and was founded in 1980, says the companies’ collective sales total $200 million and they employ about 300 people.

A June survey found that 69 percent of American adults purchase green products or services, and nearly one third believe such products are the norm and a required expectation. Tork, a recycled paper products brand owned by personal hygiene company SCA, commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct the study.

A Harris Poll published a month earlier found 31 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds say they take environmental issues into consideration when making purchases, a number that has risen from 24 percent in 2010 and 22 percent in 2009.

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