BEAUTY CARE

L’Oreal USA to acquire Essie

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK L’Oreal USA has signed an agreement to acquire the Essie cosmetics business, a move that will bolster L’Oreal’s share in the nail color and care market.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be completed within 60 to 90 days, and is subject to customary U.S. and international regulatory approvals.

Essie Weingarten founded the Astoria, N.Y.-based company in 1981 and still serves as the company’s president today. The company offers a growing line of nail colors, treatments, accessories, spa products and lip glosses. Essie’s net sales through the last 12 months were $28 million.

“This strategic acquisition will enable L’Oreal to increase our share in the nail color and care market, which has seen significant growth year over year,” stated Frederic Roze, president and CEO of L’Oreal USA.

Weingarten and Max Sortino, CEO of Essie, will continue to play a pivotal role under a multi-year agreement. “It’s a perfect match,” stated Weingarten. “This acquisition presents a tremendous opportunity to allow the Essie brand to grow even stronger. With Max and me as part of the team, we will be able to provide our customers with a greater level of service as we take the brand to new heights.”

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Former Matrixx Initiatives executive shifts to Prestige Brands

BY Michael Johnsen

IRVINGTON, N.Y. Prestige Brands on Monday named Timothy Connors to the position of chief marketing officer.

“We are excited to have [Connors] leading our marketing organization at Prestige,” stated Matthew Mannelly, Prestige president and CEO. “He brings a terrific combination of consumer and customer focus to our team. His marketing expertise, strategic thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit will serve our iconic brands well as we continue to build our brands in the marketplace.”

Connors comes to Prestige from Matrixx Initiatives, where he most recently served as VP marketing.

Prestige Brands markets and distributes brand name over-the-counter healthcare, personal care and household products throughout the United States, Canada and certain international markets. Key brands include Compound W wart treatments, Chloraseptic sore throat and allergy treatments, New Skin liquid bandage, Clear Eyes and Murine eye and ear care products, Little Remedies pediatric over-the-counter healthcare products, The Doctor’s NightGuard dental protector, Cutex nail polish remover and both Comet and Spic and Span household cleaners.

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Elizabeth Arden to develop, market, distribute John Varvatos fragrances

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Elizabeth Arden has inked an exclusive global licensing agreement with John Varvatos Apparel Group for the development, marketing and distribution of John Varvatos men’s and women’s fragrances.

The John Varvatos fragrance collection currently includes the original John Varvatos classic fragrance, which was launched in 2004, the John Varvatos Vintage fragrance and the recently launched John Varvatos Artisan fragrance. The fragrances are currently sold primarily in U.S. prestige department stores and to select markets internationally.

The previous licensee for John Varvatos fragrances and skin care was Shiseido Americas Corp. Shiseido will continue to sell the John Varvatos fragrances until June 30, 2010.

“John has established a premier men’s designer fragrance business in the United States and is one of the most dynamic men’s fashion designers. We are excited to take the fragrance business to another level and expand the franchise,” stated Ron Rolleston, EVP of global fragrance marketing. “This license provides us the opportunity to grow our market share of the men’s fragrance market with an already existing and successful men’s designer fragrance brand and leverage the growing awareness of the John Varvatos fashion line.”

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