L’Oréal USA is acquiring Pacific Bioscience Laboratories, Inc. (PBL), maker of Clarisonic, a market leader in the rapidly growing area of skin care devices. Financial terms were not announced.
Established in 2001, PBL developed its patented technology, enabling a series of highly popular products under the Clarisonic brand, including the Clarisonic Classic, Clarisonic Mia, Clarisonic Plus and Pro, and the Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infusion System. The firm recorded sales of $105 million in fiscal 2010.
“This is a strategic acquisition for L’Oréal,” said Frédéric Rozé, president and CEO of L’Oréal USA.
“Devices are rapidly emerging globally as an important new skin care category. Clarisonic is successful and the fast growing premium brand in this segment. We think that together with PBL, we will create in Redmond an outstanding center of innovation for L’Oréal. Upon closing of the transaction, the Clarisonic brand will join the portfolio of L’Oréal Luxe and benefit from its worldwide presence.”
PBL has grown rapidly since the Clarisonic launch in 2004. The company’s distribution network covers six channels: dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons, spas, prestige retail, e-tail, television shopping and online. The firm has 300 employees and recently relocated to a new corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility in Redmond, WA.
“L’Oréal brings powerful marketing, distribution, and R&D synergy to the Clarisonic agenda,” said David Giuliani, CEO and co-founder of PBL. “L’Oréal shares our vision for ingenuity and dedication to quality. Combining forces, we’re confident Clarisonic will rapidly achieve its global mission, to provide the power to change the future of your skin.”
The merger, subject to the approval of PBL’s shareholders and other closing conditions, is expected to close this month.
Evelyn Lauder Passes at 75
Evelyn H. Lauder, senior corporate vice and head of fragrance development worldwide for The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc., died at the age of 75 from complications of non-genetic ovarian cancer.Mrs. Lauder passed on Nov. 12, at her home in New York City with her family by her side.
“My mother carried the torch of our company heritage and the values that were passed to her by my grandmother, Mrs. Estée Lauder,” said William Lauder. “My mother and father were life partners as well as business partners. They nurtured the culture and growth of the Estée Lauder Companies, and as we grew, my mother was our creative compass and pillar of strength. Together my family and the Company celebrate the beautiful person she was.”
Born in Vienna, Austria, her parents fled from Europe with her during the Nazi occupation. She married Leonard A. Lauderin 1959 and joined the family business. Lauder had many roles including serving as new product director and as marketing director. Her teaching background was an excellent springboard for one of her earliest contributions, the creation of the company’s brand training programs. She also measured color standards in makeup, sold products in stores, and made numerous personal appearances. When the company began creative work on what became Clinique in 1968, Mrs. Lauder thought of the name Clinique and became the first to wear the now ubiquitous Clinique white lab coat after she was named the brand’s first training director.
In 1989, Lauder assumed the role of senior corporate VP and head of fragrance development worldwide. Her love of gardening and flowers served as inspiration as she designed new fragrances. She led the development of the company’s most globally successful fragrances, including the best-selling Beautiful and Pleasures.
Lauder was perhaps best known to the public for her work in bringing global awareness to women’s health, a passion that stemmed from a personal experience with early stage breast cancer. In 1992, she co-created the Pink Ribbon, now recognized as the worldwide symbol of breast health, and launched the Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign.
Kao Brands Announces Name Change
Effective Jan. 1, 2012, Kao Brands Company will operate as Kao USA, Inc.This is part of a larger repositioning effort by Kao Brands’ parent company, Kao Corporation, a leading manufacturer of beauty and household products with headquarters in Tokyo.
As announced by Motoki Ozaki, Kao’s president and CEO, beginning in January, Kao’s beauty care subsidiaries in North America and Europe will operate as unified organizations in the major countries in which they operate.
Ozaki stated that the global management approach will give Kao more leverage in key markets, and enable Kao to better utilize its combined experience and resources to accelerate the growth of the Kao group in the US and worldwide.
Bill Gentner, Kao Brands president and CEO explains, “The alignment with Kao’s beauty care business will provide us with an opportunity to better harness Kao’s global scale and resources for the benefit of consumers and customers in the North American and European markets. It will also provide more career opportunities for people both locally and internationally.”
Paradigm Science Links With Vege Tech, Unipex
Paradigm Science, Annandale, NJ, is now responsible for Vege Tech sales in the northeastern US.
Vege Tech Company makes ingredient for cosmetic, cosmeceutical, health and beauty, and household product industries. The firm utilizes a variety of extraction processes such as enzymatic and cold process, which yield the highest active levels of desired molecules that benefit the formulation’s efficacy.
In addition, Paradigm Science will represent Unipex Innovations’ natural actives in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
Unipex Innovations, Quebec, Canada, is the business unit of the Unipex Group, which develops, manufactures and markets innovative active ingredients for the cosmetics and personal care industries. Its line is mainly composed of extracts from natural marine and botanical substances, biomimetic peptides and biotech actives. Some of Unipex’s biotechnology products are derived from a molecular separation platform and manufactured in its laboratories in compliance with the highest standards.
Former Unilever Chairman Morris Tabaksblat Dies
Morris Tabaksblat, a former chairman of Unilever, passed away after a long illness. He was 74.
Tabaksblat joined Unilever as a trainee in 1964 and went on to have a long and distinguished career with the company. After spells working for Unilever in the Netherlands, Spain, Brazil and North America, he became chairman of Unilever in 1994, five years before his retirement.
Nu Skin Acquires Genomics Firm
Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. is acquiring LifeGen Technologies, LLC, a Madison, WI-based genomics company, for $11.6 million. The letter of intent includes the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of LifeGen, including its tissue bank, proprietary gene expression database, patents and intellectual property related to gene research.
In connection with the transaction, the company will also enter into consulting agreements with LifeGen co-founders, Richard Weindruch and Tomas Prolla, and the two will continue to serve on the Nu Skin Anti-aging Scientific Advisory Board.
“Our acquisition of LifeGen will further solidify the competitive advantage Nu Skin enjoys with our ageLOC anti-aging platform with exclusive access to LifeGen’s breakthrough work on genetic sources of aging,” said Nu Skin’s CEO Truman Hunt. “The acquisition also makes financial sense as we will no longer incur royalty obligations on products developed with LifeGen’s assistance.
“Overall, we believe that this acquisition of LifeGen will enhance our pipeline of next-generation anti-aging products for many years to come, allowing us to provide a steady stream of innovative anti-aging solutions aimed at helping people live younger, longer,” Hunt said.
“LifeGen truly is a unique resource in the battle against aging,” said Dr. Joseph Chang, Nu Skin’s chief scientific officer. “Its extensive database of genetic tissue information related to the aging process and its proprietary algorithm provide the unique ability to identify aging-related genes. Few labs in the world can match this capability. We are delighted to welcome the LifeGen team to our own team of world-class scientists.”
Nu Skin began collaborating with LifeGen in 2009, and since that time, LifeGen’s proprietary genetic science has supported Nu Skin’s “super class” of anti-aging products, including the company’s most recent introduction of the ageLOC R2 nutritional supplement.
The Benchmarking Company Is Now The Beauty Company
The Benchmarking Company has changed its name to The Beauty Company (TBC). The firm was founded in 2007 with the publication of Alisa Marie Beyer’s first PinkReport.
Along with a new name, Beyer also announced recent promotions and hires. Team members Kate Helfrich and Martha Kepner were promoted to executive levels within the organization and Katherine Sutton and Elizabeth Pharis were hired as associate and executive assistant, respectively.
Pacific World Corp. Acquires W.E. Bassett Company
Pacific World Corporation, a supplier of proprietary nail and beauty care products worldwide, has merged with The W.E. Bassett Company, a deal that the two firms say creates the fifth largest cosmetics company and second largest nail care company by sales in food, drug, and mass retailers nationwide.
Pacific World was founded in 1973 and entered the nail care market with the Nailene brand in 1983. In 1995, Pacific World expanded its business to include international markets.
In 2002, Pacific World signed a license agreement with Revlon for the Artificial Nail business, which later was expanded to include Revlon-branded false eyelashes. Pacific World launched geoGiRL Cosmetics in February 2011 and has been the exclusive marketing/sales distributor of Bio-Oil in the US since 2007.
Started in 1947 by William E. Bassett with the Trim product line, W.E. Bassett hasgrown to include more than 900 quality products. Bassett Products are sold in more than 60,000 retail outlets in more than 74 countries around the world.
The deal with The W.E. Bassett Company completes a series of four acquisitions/mergers aimed to broaden Pacific World’s global scope.
InterCharm Milano Attracts 28,000
There were 28,161 visitors, comprising sector professionals and operators from 78 countries, crowding the aisles at the second edition of InterCharm Milano, which was held at fieramilanocity in late September.
The event surpassed even the most optimistic expectations, with a growth rate of more than 40% compared to last year’s edition, significantly doubling the number of foreign visitors.
An important contribution in attendance was also made by international delegations adhering to the “Meet the Buyer” program, according to show organizers, Reed.
One-to-one appointments more than doubled reaching a total of 495 meetings between 83 exhibiting companies and 19 buyers from important international markets such as Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Middle East, North Africa, Norway, Holland, the Baltic countries, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, and the US, according to Reed.
New to this year’s edition were daily formation and information sessions as part of the Beauty Congress
Plans are underway for the next edition, which will be held Oct. 6-8, 2012.
Solazyme, Unilever Expand Relationship
Solazyme, Inc., a South San Francisco-based renewable oil and bioproducts company—which also sells its own skin care line called Algenist—has expanded its relationship with Unilever.
The commercial development agreement, which is funded by Unilever, expands the companies’ current research and development efforts and is the fourth agreement the parties have entered into. Upon completion of the development agreement and related activities, Unilever has agreed to purchase commercial quantities of Solazyme’s renewable oils.
“Unilever’s commitment to help develop products formulated with Solazyme renewable oils represents a milestone in the market validation of our tailored oil technology,” said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme.
“Our technology platform presents a unique opportunity for Unilever to develop innovative, new products with enhanced consumer benefits while advancing their Sustainable Living Plan. Unilever has consistently led the consumer goods industry towards greater sustainability and our technology, coupled with Unilever’s scale and reach, creates a compelling opportunity to improve product quality while facilitating sustainable living.”
According to Neal Matheson, Unilever’s chief technology officer, Unilever is committed to sourcing 100% of its agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020.
Initially, the two parties will continue focusing innovation efforts on the production of tailored oils for use in soap and personal care product applications, while committing additional efforts to developing new tailored oils for use in other applications.
Since 2009, the two companies have been collaborating on the research and development of tailored oils utilizing Solazyme’s technology platform and Unilever’s broad knowledge in the consumer goods space.
Romane Fragrances To Operate as Tru Fragrance
Romane Fragrances is re-branding itself as Tru Fragrance.
Backed by 42 years of experience, the company offers extensive distribution for independent and boutique retailers—both domestic and international—specialty stores, online retail and mass merchandisers. The new name takes effect immediately, in conjunction with the launch of a new website.
Under the new Tru Fragrance moniker, the company will merge four decades of industry knowledge and consumer insights with a modern approach that harnesses the romance and fashion required to successfully develop and market private label fragrances.
Former IFSCC President Wiechers Dies
Johann Wiechers died Nov. 5 in an hospital in Kuala Lumpu, after being struck by a deadly form of pneumonia. Despite heroic attempts from the medical staff in the hospital to save his life, he died, surrounded by his family, just six days after falling ill.
A pharmacist by training, Wiechers finished his Ph.D. in 1989 at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, on the subject of skin penetration enhancement. Following six years at Unilever Research in the UK, he joined Uniqema in Gouda, The Netherlands, in 1995 where he had global responsibility for the company’s skin R&D as its skin R&D director. In April 2007, he was appointed visiting professor at the University of London, School of Pharmacy, Brunswick Square, London. In July 2007, Wiechers started his own company JW Solutions as an independent consultant for cosmetic science.
His main interests were cosmetic claim substantiation, non-invasive skin bioengineering, skin sensory techniques, clinical trial design, skin penetration and biostatistics.
He was a member of the Praesidium of the IFSCC from 1998 to 2009, serving in many functions mainly relating to cosmetic science such as chair of the Science and Education Committee, Scientific Editor of the IFSCC magazine and president (2007-2008).
He published about 450 papers, posters, book chapters, columns and podium presentations in the field of topical drug delivery and cosmetic science. He won Best Paper Awards at the 1998 SCS Annual Conference (Manchester, UK), the 1999 SCC Annual Scientific Conference (New York, USA), the IFSCC Congress Best Poster Award (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK; 2002), the 2003 IFSCC Conference Award (Seoul, Korea; 2003) and the ISBS Best Poster Award (Orlando, FL; 2004). He was chair of the Scientific Committee of the 2007 IFSCC Conference held in Amsterdam, where he was named president of the IFSCC.