BEAUTY CARE

Leading Edge Innovations secures round of financing

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Investment firm J. Burke Capital Partners has increased its strategic investment into Leading Edge Innovations, a Branchburg, N.J., company that develops cosmetic formulas in skin care, sun care, hair care and other related categories for use in over-the-counter drugs and personal care products.

“JBCP has increased its investment into LEI because we see enormous potential for the use of MicroSperse technology in the personal care and other consumer product categories. This investment will create a strong operational platform at the company, which will enable significant market penetration and dramatic growth,” stated Chris Delaney, a senior associate at JBCP.

LEI uses its proprietary technique MicroSperse to formulate product components so that they mix without the use of chemical emulsifiers, many of which are on the Food and Drug Administration’s “Watch List” as potentially harmful, LEI stated.

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BEAUTY CARE

Avon taps former J&J executive to fill CEO role

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Avon, which recently rejected a bid from Coty, has ended its previously announced search for a new CEO by hiring former Johnson & Johnson executive Sheri McCoy to take the helm.

McCoy will assume her role as Avon CEO as of April 23. The appointment brings to a close a four-month search to replace CEO Andrea Jung. Jung will continue as chairman of the board.

“We believe McCoy was one of the key prior candidates to become CEO at J&J (Alex Gorsky was recently appointed J&J’s CEO in February), and based on positive investor feedback and a strong background is a strong addition to Avon’s management team. McCoy has both global (including Latin America) and turnaround experience at J&J, important attributes at Avon, although she does not have direct selling experience,” Morgan Stanley analyst Dara Mohsenian wrote in a research note.

McCoy assumes leadership of Avon following a 30-year career at J&J, where she rose to become vice chairman of the company’s pharmaceutical, consumer, corporate office of science & technology, and information technology divisions.

As previously reported, Coty submitted a nonbinding proposal to acquire Avon in a deal valued at about $10 billion; however, Avon has rejected the unsolicited bid. Coty stated that it has no intention of pursuing a hostile takeover but is making its proposal public in order to inform Avon’s shareholders of what it believes is “significant value” in a transaction.

Avon stated that Coty’s offer did not reflect the fundamental value of the company and its global beauty care franchise, and also stressed its commitment to hiring a new CEO. Avon stated that hiring a new CEO is a “greater opportunity to improve shareholder value in excess of Coty’s conditional indication of interest.”

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Latest Carmex art project: ‘365 Days of Lip Service’

BY Michael Johnsen

MILWAUKEE — Carma Labs earlier this year teamed with mixed media artist Lisa Pavelka to launch 365 Days of Lip Service, a collection of artwork created on the lids of 366 Carmex lip balm jars.

“We were thrilled to learn about the project and Lisa’s long-held preference for using the Carmex jar in her artistic creations,” stated Paul Woelbing, president of Carma Labs. “Carmex fans know that, in addition to being a great lip balm, we are dedicated to fun and inspiration. This is a great way to help us celebrate Carmex’s 75th anniversary.”

Pavelka will create an original Carmex lid for each day in 2012 (366 in all since 2012 is a leap year). The artist unveils the newest creation with daily posts at Lisapavelka.typepad.com. Each entry includes images of the lid, a brief explanation of the inspiration behind the design, along with information on the materials and techniques used.

The Carmex lid collection is Pavelka’s most ambitious project to date. The first of the 366 lids was unveiled on Jan. 1 and will continue through Dec. 31. The idea behind the collection began more than 10 years ago when Pavelka began making creative polymer clay lids for gifts. She later went on to feature the concept in one of her books.

“Carmex has long been the subject of my embellishing and gifting,” Pavelka said. “Friends and family who receive the embellished Carmex jars use the empty containers for pill boxes, mint keepers or treasure vessels. It was easy to decide to use the iconic product for this project because I have been using the jar lids as my canvas for years.” 


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