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February 5, 2010

Shiseido To Acquire Bare Escentuals

There’s gold in mineral least for shareholders of Bare Escentuals. Shiseido will acquire Bare Escentuals for approximately $1.7 billion through an all-cash tender offer and second-step merger. The transaction was approved by the boards of directors of both companies by unanimous vote of those directors present and voting.

Under terms of the agreement, Shiseido, through a U.S. subsidiary, will make an offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Bare Escentuals common stock for $18.20 per share—a 40.8% premium to Bare Escentuals’ average closing stock price over the last three-month period ended Jan. 13, 2010, and a 39.9% premium over the closing price of Bare Escentuals’ common stock on Jan. 13, 2010. The offer is expected to close during the first quarter of 2010.

Second Quarter Sales Slip at Prestige Brands

Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc., Irvington, NY, reported second quarter sales fell 2% to $84.2 million. The results reflect the recent divestitures of Denorex, Prell and Zincon shampoo brands from the company’s personal care segment. Net income for the second quarter, including that related to the discontinued operations, rose 16% to $9.9 million, the company said.

Net revenues from continuing operations for the first six months of fiscal 2010 declined 0.9% to $155.2 million. Total net income rose 12% to $18.2 million.

Sales Up 8% at Parlux

Parlux Fragrances, Inc. reported sales increased 8% to $56.5 million for the second quarter ended Sept. 30, 2009. For the six-months, sales climbed 6% to $80.1 million.

“We have strategically continued to invest in building the Parlux portfolio of brands, led by the recent launches of Queen Latifah, Josie Natori and Marc Ecko, all of which are exceeding retailers planned sales in their respective distribution channels,” said Neil J. Katz, chairman and chief executive officer.“We are transitioning out of our Guess? business on an orderly basis as of Dec. 31, 2009, and we fully expect that the new brands in fiscal year 2011 will exceed our past Guess? business.”

Katz noted that Parlux has been able to effectively launch three new brands, as well as a new Paris Hilton and a new Jessica Simpson brand, while maintaining spending investment at prior year levels. Such prudence enabled Parlux to absorb its first quarter loss, and to achieve profitability for the six-month period.

“I believe that this performance, combined with an anticipated improved holiday season, will help lead to a positive conclusion on a new financing arrangement,” added Katz. “In the meantime, we are projecting to be cash-flow positive through the balance of the year ending March 31, 2010, and remain prudently optimistic regarding profitable results for fiscal 2010.”

First Quarter as Expected at Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden, Inc. reported sales fell 6.7% to $265.2 million for the first fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30, 2009. Despite the decline, E. Scott Beattie, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Elizabeth Arden, Inc., was pleased with the result.

“We are encouraged by our first quarter results, with each of our business units generally performing as we had expected. Sales results were at the high end of our expectations, and earnings exceeded prior guidance, aided by improved trends in the travel retail and distributor markets and more favorable foreign currency rates. We are particularly pleased with the progress we continue to make with our global efficiency re-engineering initiative,” Beattie said.

He continued, “There are signs that economic conditions are beginning to improve, and, while early, we are expecting good performance from our new launches for the holiday season.”

For the second quarter of fiscal 2010, the company expects net sales of $380-$390 million.

A Surge in Q3 Sales at Ulta

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. reported net sales for the quarter increased 11.5% to $284 million. Comparable store sales increased 1.5% compared to an increase of 2% in the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

Sales Slip Slightly at Limited Brands

Limited Brands, Inc. reported comparable store sales fell 2% for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, 2010. The company posted net sales of $1.6 billion. For the 48 weeks ended Jan. 2, 2010, the company reported a comparable store sales decrease of 5% and net sales of $8.0 billion.

“We are very pleased with our holiday performance. We managed inventory and expenses conservatively and focused on execution and speed to maximize sales and margin,” said Les Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer. “Going forward, we plan to continue our conservative management of the business and increase our emphasis on speed and agility.”

Cognis Reports Decline in Care Chemical Sales

The Care Chemicals Division of Cognis reported third quarter sales fell 12.5% to $518 million. Still, the company noted that volume picked up due to improvements in the home and personal care segments. Furthermore, the company posted gains in Mercosur and Asia Pacific, as well as in the NAFTA region. The company credited the increase to improved awareness of the green trend.

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