BEAUTY CARE

High Ridge Brands snaps up Zest from P&G

BY Antoinette Alexander

GREENWICH, Conn. — Private equity fund Brynwood Partners VI L.P. announced on Tuesday that its newly formed portfolio company, High Ridge Brands, has acquired the Zest brand from Procter & Gamble.

High Ridge Brands purchased the rights to the Zest brand in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean markets. The company will be based in Stamford, Conn., and Brynwood VI has majority ownership of the company.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Zest, famous for its "Zestfully Clean" advertising campaign, was launched in 1952 by P&G and is known for its bar soap and body wash products.

"We are delighted to announce the acquisition of the Zest brand," stated Dario Margve, nonexecutive chairman of High Ridge Brands and managing partner of Brynwood VI. "We believe that this will be a great new platform investment for our firm and look forward to not only bringing renewed attention and energy to the great Zest brand, but to also adding complementary brands to the company in the future."

Brynwood Partners L.P. has experience in the personal care space. Margve was CEO of J.B. Williams Co., a Brynwood Partners II L.P. portfolio company, from 1992 to 2002. J.B. Williams’ brands included Aqua Velva, Cepacol, Brylcreem and Lectric Shave. J.B. Williams was divested to Combe.

"We are excited to be investing in the personal care space again as this has proven to be a very good area for our firm," added Hendrik J. Hartong III, senior managing partner of Brynwood Partners. "We are pleased to have Dario Margve overseeing this investment for Brynwood VI and have high confidence that he and the management team will put the Zest brand on a growth track again."

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Paris Presents partners with Mason Wells

BY Antoinette Alexander

GURNEE, Ill. — Paris Presents, the maker of the EcoTools cosmetic and bath accessories line, has secured an investment from private equity firm Mason Wells. Mason Wells, along with Paris Presents’ existing management team and other investors, acquired the equity of the company from the Zall family.

"We are proud of the business we have built and [are] excited about the opportunity to partner with Mason Wells to continue the growth of Paris Presents," stated Larry Zall on behalf of the Zall family ownership group. "Mason Wells will provide Paris Presents with additional resources to achieve the company’s long-term growth initiatives and to continue our investment in industry-leading product innovation."

"The existing management team of Paris Presents is looking forward to partnering with Mason Wells," added Leah Bailey, the current operational leader of the business, who became CEO of the company in connection with the transaction. "With their strong financial backing and management resources, we will continue to serve our customers with high-quality products and services."

Mason Wells is a Midwest-based private equity firm that manages more than $800 million of capital through Mason Wells Buyout Funds.

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Sunstar Americas rolls out Gum Soft-Picks in new package sizes

BY Antoinette Alexander

CHICAGO — Sunstar Americas, a maker of Gum and Butler brand products, is offering its Gum Soft-Picks in new 15- and 80-count packages.

Gum Soft-Picks have 76 soft, flexible rubber bristles that slide between teeth to remove food and gently massage gums. According to the company, Gum Soft-Picks are safe to use on dental implants, bridges, crowns and orthodontics.

To date, Gum Soft-Picks have been offered only in a package of 40, retailing for $3.49. Now Sunstar is offering a new 15-count package for $1.50 and an 80-count package for $5.99.

"In developing this product, we wanted to give consumers something easy to use in terms of shape and size, and with enhanced cleaning capabilities versus a standard toothpick," stated Nikki Lockett, senior marketing manager for Sunstar Americas. "Gum Soft-Picks can be used discreetly in a restaurant, in public areas or at the office."

Gum Soft-Picks also come with a portable travel container so they can be used on the go. They can be purchased in the dental floss section of the oral care aisle at major retailers.

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