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Calgon looks to ‘take consumers away’ this holiday with new spa gift set

BY Antoinette Alexander

BALTIMORE, Md. — Bath and beauty brand Calgon, which is managed by Ilex Consumer Products Group, has unveiled new holiday gift sets that are available at Walgreens.

The Spa Essentials Set includes body mist, shower gel and foam bath, a pack of bath salts and a shower pouf.

There are two gift sets available, priced at $4.99 each, in Morning Glory and Hawaiian Ginger fragrances.

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CVS Caremark announces new share repurchase authorization for up to $4B

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark’s board of directors has approved a new share repurchase program for up to $4 billion of the company’s outstanding common stock.

The share repurchase authorization, which is effective immediately, enables the pharmacy retailer to affect the repurchases from time to time through a combination of open market repurchases, privately negotiated transactions, accelerated share repurchase transactions, and/or other derivative transactions. 

The company also stated that it intends to complete its $2 billion share repurchase program, authorized in June 2010, this year as expected. In addition, the company intends to repurchase approximately $1 billion under the new authorization by the end of this year.

"Over the next several years, we expect to generate significantly more free cash flow than what we’ve generated in the past several years. We have a disciplined approach to capital allocation that encompasses investing in internal projects that meet our return hurdles and utilizing our remaining free cash flow to increase shareholder value through dividends and share repurchases. We intend to continue to review our dividend annually and to do share repurchases that are value enhancing,” CVS Caremark EVP and CFO Dave Denton said.

The specific timing and amount of repurchases will vary based on market conditions and other factors. The share repurchase program may be modified, extended or terminated by the board of directors at any time, the company noted.

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Brynwood Partners strengthens foothold in personal care space with Alberto VO5, Rave acquisitions

BY Antoinette Alexander

GREENWICH, Conn. — Brynwood Partners VI L.P. has announced that High Ridge Brands, its portfolio company and owner of the North American Zest personal cleansing franchise, has signed a purchase agreement with Unilever to acquire the Alberto VO5 brand and marketing rights in the United States and Puerto Rico; as well as the rights to the Rave brand and marketing rights worldwide.

Unilever has retained the rights to the Alberto VO5 brand outside the United States and Puerto Rico.

The transaction, which is subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Justice, is expected to close by the end of August. Terms and conditions of the transaction will not be disclosed.

"We are excited to make another acquisition in the personal care space and to add to our very successful Zest business. In an eight-month period, we will have created a company with approximately $200 million in sales and look forward to growing the business through renewed marketing, product innovation and selected add-on acquisitions," stated Dario Margve, managing partner of Brynwood Partners and chairman of High Ridge Brands.

The Alberto VO5 and Rave transaction follows Brynwood Partners’ acquisitions of the Zest brand from Procter & Gamble, the TrueNorth brand from PepsiCo, and the Balance Bar from Kraft Foods. Brynwood Partners also acquired several confections brands from Nestlé USA between 2004 and 2007. Over the course of its 27-year history, Brynwood Partners has purchased a total of 16 brands from eight corporations in the consumer segment.

Alberto VO5 was launched in 1955 by the Alberto-Culver and is known for its hair care products including shampoos, conditioners, hair treatments and styling aids. Originally founded in 1978, Rave is a brand with strong consumer loyalty for its line of hair spray products. The products of both brands are widely distributed in the United States and Puerto Rico.

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