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Lauder Toasts Freda

The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. held a cocktail party Tuesday evening to introduce the company's newly installed president and chief operating officer, Fabrizio Freda, to Wall Street.

The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. held a cocktail party Tuesday evening to introduce the company's newly installed president and chief operating officer, Fabrizio Freda, to Wall Street. Freda, the former president of the Global Snacks Division of Procter & Gamble Co., joined Lauder in March with the understanding that he will move up to chief executive officer within two years.

At the company's Fifth Avenue headquarters Tuesday, roughly 20 analysts and investors mingled with the beauty firm's top management, including Freda, ceo William Lauder and Dan Brestle, vice chairman and president of Estée Lauder Cos., North America, according to some of those in attendance.

In a research note released Wednesday, Wachovia Capital Markets analyst Jason Gere wrote of the meet and greet: "While no prepared remarks or announcements were made, we gather by management's tone and conversation that long-term change could be under way at [Estée Lauder Cos.]. We are pleased with management's openness toward such change, but still believe it will take time for it to benefit the bottom line."

Gere added that Freda said international expansion will focus on building dominant market share in important regions. He wrote, "Freda stated he would rather have a 40 percent share in China than a 10 percent share in each of the emerging markets." On the fragrance front, the analyst stated Brestle said there's an opportunity to extend beyond its prestige mentality and launch more midtier brands.

— Molly Prior

Firmenich Opens Center

PARIS —
In a bid to focus on creativity and increase synergies between its fragrance and flavors divisions, Swiss fragrance supplier Firmenich recently unveiled a new state-of-the-art creative center to some 700 clients in Paris.
The 90,000-square-foot building in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine unites the firm's flavors and fragrances units, which were previously located in separate buildings.

"This way we can stay ahead of trends," said chief executive officer Patrick Firmenich, pointing out the food and beverage industry's influence on fragrance over the past decade, such as tea notes appearing in scents following the growing popularity of iced teas in the U.S. At the same time flavors are increasingly becoming enriched with floral notes, he said.
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