Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) is looking to sell its Wella hair care business as part of a streamlining process.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that the company is working with Goldman Sachs to explore the sale of Wella, which is worth around $7bn (€5.6bn, £4.5bn).

The company may sell the business as a whole or in parts, the sources added, cautioning that no final decision had been taken.

The hair care unit to be sold includes Clairol, which P&G bought from Bristol-Myers Squibb for $4.95bn in 2001, and hairdressing business Vidal Sassoon.

Prospective buyers could include Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group Unilever and Germany's Henkel, which made an informal approach for Wella in 2002.

Following the news, P&G shares closed up 1.74% in the US to $90.43.

In August, the company announced a plan to sell off 80 to 100 non-core product lines that account for about 10% of its total revenue and focus on about 80 brands that generate most of the revenues.

The core brands, which represent about 90% of the company's sales and more than 95% of profit in recent years, include Tide detergent, Crest toothpaste and Pampers diapers.

In line with the plan, the company earlier sold its pet-food businesses to Mars Inc and Spectrum Brands Holdings.

In addition, it announced the sale of its battery unit Duracell to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in November.

The company is reportedly under pressure from shareholders including activist investor William Ackman, who acquired a stake in P&G in 2012.