Coty

The other day I was talking to Bernd Beetz, the chief executive of Coty, in his office high over Park Avenue, and he noted that “fragrance is now a crucial building block of a brand.” In other words, it’s the base, not the capstone, of a business. I was thinking about this today because Puig Beauty and Fashion Group just announced a truncated version of their 2010 results and they are pretty good.

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Turns out, while LVMH’s mouth was busy with its results announcement last week, insisting once again they had nothing but cuddly-wuddly intentions toward Hermes, their hands were busy shelling out for Ole Henriksen, the LA-based “botanical beauty brand.”  Read more

Well, they said it was coming. You know those teasers Coty CEO Bernd Beetz kept dropping last week about plans for a purchasing trifecta before year end? He came through, and yesterday announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Tjoy, the Chinese skincare company, thus completing the third leg of a Philosophy-OPI trinity. Read more

Oh, the tangled web these luxury moguls weave. We all know about Bernard Arnault and Francois-Henri Pinault, but how about those Reimanns? Granted, the name doesn’t rhyme as well with their rivals, but the German billionaires are creeping down the luxury acquisition warpath led by executive Peter Harf.

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Yesterday marked a sudden surge in spending — not just on stuff, but on companies. According to the investment bankers with their eye on the retail and fashion sector, Christmas itself has come early: J. Crew has been sold for billions to private equity! Gymboree has gone to Bain! Coty has bought Philosophy from the Carlyle Group! (Remember: three=trend.) Action! The engine has restarted! And so on.

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