BEAUTY CARE

Helen of Troy announces acquisition closing of Infusium 23

BY Antoinette Alexander

EL PASO, Texas Helen of Troy has closed on its previously reported agreement to acquire the global Infusium 23 hair care business from Procter & Gamble.

“We are pleased to add Infusium 23 to the company’s existing portfolio of quality products. We have worked with [P&G] over the past month to help ensure a smooth transition of ownership for our retail customers and consumers. We are very excited about Infusium 23 and look forward to continuing its rich tradition of excellence in hair care,” stated Gerald Rubin, chairman, CEO and president.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, the Infusium 23 business will be integrated into Helen of Troy?s Idelle Labs division, which currently includes such brands as Vitalis, Final Net, Vitapointe and Condition 3-in-1.

It expects Infusium 23 will generate about $40 million in sales on an annualized basis with products that will be marketed into both retail and professional trade classes. It expects the acquisition to be accretive immediately

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Mode Cosmetics unveils new kabuki brush

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALBANY, N.Y. Mode Cosmetics, a cosmetics line created by second-generation cosmetics purveyors and beauty entrepreneurs Cristina Samuels and Jennifer Isaac, is launching for 2009 its MODE Professional Kabuki.

Designed and created by Samuels and Isaac, the makeup brush is made with pure dye-free and cruelty-free toray to achieve the softest, smoothest feeling on the skin. It is ideal for vegan, vegetarian and eco-friendly beauty shoppers.

The makeup brush promises to never scratch or irritate skin and will not shed. It is available in May and has a suggested retail price of $10.

Mode, which positions its products as accessible luxury with prices ranging between $3 and $10, offers more than 260 SKUs. The products are formulated with many natural, organic and biodegradable ingredients and are housed in chic recyclable packaging.

The products are sold in select supermarkets, pharmacy retailers and specialty stores, as well as at www.modecosmetics.com.

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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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