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April 6, 2011

Lubrizol Acquired By Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has acquired Lubrizol in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $9.7 billion, including approximately $700 million in net debt, according to the companies.

The deal is one of the largest acquisitions in Berkshire Hathaway’s history.

“Lubrizol is exactly the sort of company with which we love to partner—the global leader in several market applications run by a talented CEO, James Hambrick,” said Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chief executive officer. “Our only instruction to James – just keep doing for us what you have done so successfully for your shareholders.”

James Hambrick, Lubrizol chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “This transaction provides compelling value to our shareholders and is a clear endorsement of the growth and diversification success Lubrizol has achieved. We are very excited to have the opportunity to become part of the Berkshire Hathaway family. We believe its philosophy of supporting long-term global investments in technology, assets and employees will enhance execution of our growth strategies. Such a long-term commitment is more important than ever in today’s global economy to deliver true market-leading products and services for our customers.”

Berkshire Hathaway and Lubrizol expect the transaction to be completed during the third quarter of 2011.

After the close of the transaction, Lubrizol will operate as a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Lubrizol will remain located at its Wickliffe, OH, headquarters and will continue to be led by its current management team.

Sustainable Cosmetics Summit in NYC To Explore Global Standards

Several regional and international standards for natural and organic cosmetics are gaining popularity in different parts of the world, and according to Organic Monitor, the industry is becoming increasingly divided because of the proliferation in standards and certification.To gain a greater understanding of the current situation, make a stop in at the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit, which will be held in New York on May 12-14. At this event, leading certification agencies—including NPA, NSF and NaTrue—will provide an update on their standards and adoption rates at the summit.

The Cosmos certification scheme has been introduced in Europe. Cosmos has been prepared by harmonizing the leading natural and organic cosmetic standards in Europe. The first certified products are expected this year, but no common Cosmos logo is planned. A major critique of the new Cosmos standard is that it will not replace or unify the plethora of existing symbols and logos.

Organic Monitor research finds that although the adoption rate of natural and organic cosmetic standards is the highest in Europe, the region is also the most fragmented in terms of seals and logos. Standards are mainly adopted on a national basis, with few transcending national boundaries. The Soil Association standard is almost exclusively adopted by UK companies, ICEA almost entirely by Italian companies, Cosmebio mostly by French companies and BDIH predominantly in Germany. More than 10,000 products are certified according to the six Cosmos member standards, according to Organic Monitor. The NaTrue standard has been successful in providing a uniform labeling scheme and now covers almost 1,400 products. However, its popularity is also geographically limited, with most of its 55 licensees based in German-speaking countries.

Organic Monitor finds the Ecocert standard has the most international coverage. Originating in France, the standard has been adopted by companies in Greece, Denmark, Latvia, Brazil, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and Australia. With the large number of licensees and certified products of Ecocert and its fellow Cosmos partners, Cosmos has the potential to become a de facto global standard. But the absence of a Cosmos logo weakens its position. Also, neither Ecocert nor its Cosmos partners have made inroads in North America.

High interest in standards and a flurry of re-formulation activity is also occurring in North America since Whole Foods announced its new guidelines for personal care products one year ago. The NPA standard for natural cosmetics is the most successful, representing more than 300 certified products from about 30 brands. Although the NSF ANSI 305 “contains organic” standard is gaining currency, the USDA NOP organic standard remains popular despite being designed for organic agricultural food products. Thus, three separate standards and logos are gaining momentum in North America. Competition between standards in North America has intensified since NaTrue and NSF ANSI announced the launch of a new natural cosmetics standard last month.

As major certification agencies are engrossed in battles in Europe and North America, new standards are emerging in other regions. The proliferation in seals and logos, especially at the national level, could widen divisions in an already fragmented natural cosmetics industry. As this happens, consumers will lose out as they question why one certified product is more “organic” than the other, according to Organic Monitor.
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HBA Global Partners With U.S. Dept. of Commerce
HBA Global Expo & Conference was chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration to participate in its International Buyers Program (IBP) for 2011.

Taking place June 28-30, 2011 at the Javits Center in New York, HBA Global will be promoted by U.S. consulates and trade missions worldwide and foreign delegations will come to the event to meet directly with U.S. suppliers of packaging, raw materials, ingredients and private label/ contract manufacturing services.

The IBP was created to highlight the top international trade opportunities in this country to the international business community, and to match buyers from other nations with suppliers based in the U.S. The IBP benefits U.S. firms exhibiting at these select events and provides practical, hands-on assistance through export counseling and market analysis to U.S. companies interested in exporting.

HBA Global was selected to participate in the program because it is a leading international event within the beauty and personal care industry; the industry it serves has high export potential and, as a New York City event, HBA is held at a facility of world-class caliber, capable of logistically accommodating an international audience of both exhibitors and visitors

As part of the IBP, HBA Global will operate an International Business Center during the show staffed by country and industry experts from the U.S. Commercial Service.In this new area, foreign delegations will be able to meet with U.S. exhibitors, obtain assistance identifying potential business partners, and use the facility as a launching pad for successfully “navigating the show.”

The International Business Center will also offer interpreters, hands-on export counseling, marketing analysis, private meeting rooms and a lounge area.

“HBA Global is proud to be part of the 2011 International Buyers Program. For three days in June, our U.S. exhibitors will be able to meet face-to-face with prospective foreign buyers and hopefully increase their export potential in multiple markets,” said Jill Birkett, brand director, Beauty & Wellness.

In support of its IBP status, HBA Global will produce a two-day Global Perspectives Conference as part of its educational programming during the event. The conference will kick-off with a trend setting perspective on the global cosmetics market.

Other sessions will focus on the best methods for forming global partnerships and taking products internationally, as well as providing detailed information about a number of the most important worldwide markets.
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Ecolab Buys O.R. Solutions
Ecolab Inc. has completed its acquisition of O.R. Solutions, Inc., a privately held company based in Chantilly, VA.

O.R. Solutions is a leading developer and marketer of surgical fluid warming and cooling systems in the U.S. Annual sales of the business are approximately $55 million, with more than 85% of O.R. Solutions' sales from custom fit sterile drapes.

The purchase price was approximately $260 million.
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Stoko Skin Care Honors Process Marketing Group, Ken Bartley
Stoko Skin Care by Evonik, a Greensboro, NC-based provider of skin care/hygiene products and programs for the away-from-home market, has presented Process Marketing Group its manufacturer’s representative agency of the year award for 2010.

Based in St. Louis, MO Process Marketing Group earned this award by committing itself to business growth, partnering with Stoko Skin Care by Evonik to substantially increase sales volume, the company said.

Process Marketing Group is a manufacturers’ representative organization located in the Midwest servicing the construction, industrial, utility, fire service, government, workplace safety and food industries.

In other news, Ken Bartley, senior territory manager, North Central Region, has been awarded Stoko’s Sales Person of the Year for 2010. He earned this award by achieving the highest increase in sales in that year. Bartley, who has been with Stoko Skin Care by Evonik since 2002, is responsible for sales in Indiana, Ohio and parts of West Virginia.
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Cosmoprof North American Events Designed to Boost Business

As a leading B2B trade show, Cosmoprof North America, slated for July 31-Aug. 2, 2011 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV,provides informative and comprehensive educational conferences for its attendees—and the 2011 show is no exception. With topics ranging from creating a brand that resonates with consumers to capitalizing on that connection, the “Creativity and Passion: Fueling the Brand Story” conference will examine how to create a successful beauty business.

The session, which will feature a panel of industry experts from leading companies in mass, masstige and specialty markets, will take place on July 31 from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m.

The panel of speakers is comprised of Andrew Knox of Pixi/PopBeauty, Ido Leffler of Yes To! and Deborah Lippmann of Deborah Lippmann Nail Collection. They will discuss the creativity and passion required to build and sustain a brand. They will share their perspectives, gained from years of experience, on how to create relatable brands and how to grow and position those brands so that they become standouts in the marketplace.

In addition, these leaders will discuss the needs and wants of today’s consumers, how brands should look to communicate with those consumers, and the business strategies necessary to keep consumers buying. There will also be a question and answer session giving attendees the opportunity to ask questions specific to their own businesses.

Also at CPNA, the Discover Beauty program, an exclusive initiative of Cosmoprof North America, is celebrating its fifth successful year of matching leading retailers with emerging beauty and skin care brands in 2011. As the only program of its caliber in the U.S., companies must be selected to participate in Discover Beauty, ensuring an exclusive array of unique, cutting-edge brands that are sure to be the “next big thing.”

For these brands, show organizers arrange pre-scheduled sales meetings and events with key retailers. The initial 2011 Discover Beauty lineup of companies includes Dr. Kitzinger Skin Care, Gorgeous Cosmetics, Nougat London and Snowberry Beauty.

Returning as Discover Beauty Affiliates are Barista Bath & Body, Kyoku for Men and TouchBack by ColorMark. These specific brands were successfully launched as part of Discover Beauty in a previous year and are now working toward continuing to increase their exposure nationally and internationally.

Discover Beauty participants, both new brands and affiliates, are provided with high profile visibility and dedicated, key placement on the show floor to help ensure they receive a high return on their investment, which translates into strong retail buyer partnerships.
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Fragrance Veteran, Former ASP President Jack Funesti Dies
Long-time fragrance veteran John K. “Jack” Funesti died on March 12, 2011. He was 75 and suffered from Parkinson’s disease, according to reports.

Funesti worked for major fragrance and flavor companies including Givaudan, Robertet and Flavor & Fragrance Specialties. In addition, he served as president of the American Society of Perfumers (ASP) in 1974 and 1989, and helped organize ASP’s triennial World Perfumery Congress.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Peggy; four children; six grandchildren; four step-grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

Mary Kay Completes Global Month of Service
Mary Kay employees, independent sales force members and their family and friends took part in the first Mary Kay Global Month of Service. All told they volunteered more than 430,510 hours of community service in a one month period (Feb. 8-March 8) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, which was commemorated on March 8.

Endeavors included supporting U.S. women and children at domestic violence shelters by sprucing up their centers,assisting citizens in disaster relief efforts in Australia due to the massive floods throughout the country in January, renovating hurricane-damaged buildings in Mexico, teaching school children in China, and cleaning up a cancer center in Russia.

“Mary Kay has always made giving an important part of corporate culture. We are very humbled by the overflowing generosity of our independent sales force, employees, family and friends as we celebrate International Women’s Day and the contributions of women,” said David Holl, president and chief executive officer of Mary Kay Inc.

Nice-Pak Expands Wet Wipes Capacity in Indiana, Arkansas
Nice-Pak, the Orangeburg, NY-based manufacturer of wet wipes, is dramatically expanding its overall capacity and introducing new state-of-the-art equipment and packaging technologies in its Jonesboro, AR, and Mooresville, IN, facilities.

Production at Nice-Pak’s soon-to-close Green Bay, WI, facility will be relocated to its expanded manufacturing and distribution facilities in Indiana, the company said. The firm says this move will further its leadership position and significantly enhance its global sustainability platform.

“Nice-Pak produces over 125 billion pre-moistened wipes annually focused on improving family health and wellness,” said Robert Julius, chairman and chief executive officer. “The installation of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and advanced packaging technology is consistent with Nice-Pak’s leadership role in the wet wipe industry, and involves a well-orchestrated reconfiguration that has been designed to benefit current and future customers.”
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Drom’s Schmidt Honored By German Perfumers Association
Drom’s Daniela Schmidt was recognized by the German Association of Perfumers (DGP) at the 57th SEPAWA conference in Fulda. She received DGP’s 2010 prize for best diploma thesis.

Schmidt, who has been a permanent employee of Drom since April 2009, came to Baierbrunn, Germany in 2008 to write her thesis about thermo gravimetric analysis (TGA) methods in cooperation with Drom Fragrances. She developed a TGA method that can determine the evaporation behavior of perfume oil and predict the trend for the useful life of an end product like room freshener.

DGP hopes that this program will encourage scientists and give them an incentive to research the sense of smell and the effects of perfume.
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