BEAUTY CARE

P&G sells its African-American hair care brand

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES Procter & Gamble has sold its Johnson Products Co. unit, an African-American hair care products brand, to newly formed independent entity RCJP Acquisition Inc.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Johnson Products offers more than 30 hair care products, including the Gentle Treatment and Ultra Sheen brands. It has annualized revenues of more than $23 million.

RCJP Acquisition is comprised of Los Angeles-based private equity firms Rustic Canyon/Fontis Partners LP and St. Cloud Capital LLC, along with a management team of industry veterans.

The company will operate as Johnson Products Company. Industry veterans and husband and wife team, Eric Brown and Renee Cottrell-Brown, will lead the new management team. They both have held senior executive positions with Alberto-Culver?s Pro-Line International subsidiary. Brown will serve as CEO, with Cottrell-Brown serving as EVP.

“The acquisition of Johnson Products represents the renewal of a family of products that revolutionized the ethnic hair care industry starting in the 1950s, and a next stage of growth for a legendary company that has been an iconic figure and model of success for African-Americans,” Brown stated. “The new Johnson Products Company will provide us with a platform to bring product innovations and promotions to a unique multi-cultural consumer group and reintroduce the brands to a new generation. We have an outstanding, motivated team, and we are extremely excited and optimistic about the future of this new venture.”

Brown most recently was president of Pro-Line International, which has been part of Alberto-Culver Company since 2000. In January 2004, Brown moved into a corporate position with Alberto-Culver as VP global business development, where he was instrumental in consummating global licensing, distribution, acquisition and divestiture opportunities for many of Alberto-Culver?s global brands.

Renee Cottrell-Brown, who since 2006 operated a marketing consulting firm, previously held a 25-year career with Pro-Line Corporation and Pro-Line International, most recently as global VP of retail marketing.

Commenting on the acquisition, Jay Forbes, president of the Forbes Connection LLC and former VP of Drug Store News, stated, “In a market that demands innovation, creativity and thoughtful product positioning, I cannot think of two more talented individuals who better understand the ethnic consumer and the retail community. I’m certain that Renee and Eric, with their collective experience over many years contributing to the growth of the Pro-Line family business, will excel in re-energizing Johnson Products, a great legacy company with outstanding brands.”

Kacy Rozelle and Marshall Geller of St. Cloud Capital, along with Daniel Villanueva and Gabrielle Greene of Rustic Canyon/Fontis Partners, will join the Johnson Products? board of directors.

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Physicians Formula reports net loss in Q4

BY Antoinette Alexander

AZUSA, Calif. Physicians Formula Holdings posted a net loss during the fourth quarter, as consumer spending slowed and retailers tightened inventory control. The beauty company expects the challenging retail environment to continue in 2009.

Net sales for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008 were $28.2 million, compared with net sales of $33.9 million in the year-ago period.

Net loss for the quarter was $24.5 million, or a loss of $1.80 per diluted share, compared with net income of $4.9 million, or a gain of 33 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-cash goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges, adjusted net income per diluted common share for fourth quarter 2008 was 13 cents.

Net sales for the full year 2008 were $114 million, up 2.2% compared with net sales of $111.5 million for 2007. Net loss for 2008 totaled $19.8 million, or a loss of $1.41 per diluted share, compared with a gain in the year-ago period of $8.7 million, or 60 cents per share. Excluding non-cash goodwill and intangible impairment charges, adjusted net income per diluted common share was 47 cents for 2008.

“Our 2009 strategic initiatives, including new product offerings, our new communication, promotional and merchandising platforms, were designed to raise the profile of our brand, to continue to push the boundaries of innovation and to improve the shopping experience,” stated Ingrid Jackel, chairwoman, CEO of Physicians Formula. “However, during the first quarter of the year, retailers continue to operate under unprecedented tight inventory control programs and, in addition, we are experiencing smaller pipeline orders compared to last year?s larger pipelines from space gains. We expect 2009 will continue to be a very challenging retail environment for our industry.”

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Revlon expands board of directors

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Revlon announced on Monday that its board of directors has elected Ann Jordan as a new director.

The election of Jordan increases the size of Revlon’s board of directors to 12 members and the number independent directors to eight members. Revlon still has a majority of independent directors on its board.

Jordan serves as a director of Catalyst, a non-profit membership organization for women’s business initiatives, and as an honorary trustee of the University of Chicago and The Brookings Institution, a non-profit public policy organization based in Washington D.C. She also currently serves as a director, trustee or member of the following organizations: The National Symphony Orchestra (chairman); Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (trustee); the National Museum of African America History and Culture (member); and WETA, the Washington D.C. public broadcasting station (member).

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