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Coty’s New Collection: Snags Jacobs and Cole Scents From LVMH

Coty Inc. has purchased the beauty licenses for Kenneth Cole and Marc Jacobs from LVMH for an estimated $45 million to $50 million.

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He asserted that Coty has an ability to capture the spirit of a particular brand by developing products that bring names to life in their respective distribution channels. As proof, he pointed to the Glow fragrance, whose ingredients reflected the personality of Lopez. Coty, he added, is having “a very good year” with expectations of finishing with double-digit growth.

Beetz also acknowledged the achievement of LVMH in building the Jacobs and Cole fragrance business when he earlier stated, “The licenses, which are already so well developed, provide us with strong growth opportunities for our ‘American Luxury Brand Unit’ within the Lancaster Group.”

While Scannavini will lead the development of the Jacobs and Cole businesses, it is expected that Catherine Walsh, vice president of marketing, cosmetics and American licenses for the Lancaster division, will also take part.

Marc Jacobs, who remains creative director of LVMH’s key Louis Vuitton accessories and fashion business, could not be reached for comment Thursday. Despite rumors in the market that Jacobs officials are disgruntled, a spokeswoman declined comment.

But Paul Blum, president of Kenneth Cole Productions, said, “We’re very happy to be joining Coty and the Lancaster division.” He added that the fragrance brand has had a great run with LVMH. “[Coty has] a great group of people who have made themselves very familiar with our brand and our direction, and they are very supportive. We’re excited about the continued development of the brand and our plans remain in place to aggressively continue building the fragrance brand.”

LVMH has been on a campaign of shedding non-core assets. In December, the French luxury conglomerate sold two California-based cosmetics brands, Hard Candy and Urban Decay, to the Falic Group, a travel retailing company. LVMH continues to own a number of other beauty brands, including Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, Parfums Givenchy, Parfums Kenzo and Bliss, as well as partial interests in BeneFit Cosmetics, Acqua di Parma, Fresh and Make Up For Ever.

The divestiture of the Jacobs and Cole licenses following the sale of the Kors business spells the virtual end of the American Designer Fragrances division of the New York-based Parfums Givenchy Inc., which LVMH launched with great fanfare in the fall of 2000. At the time, Kors and Jacobs both designed for LVMH’s fashion holdings in various capacities. With the addition of Kenneth Cole, the fragrance unit was estimated to rack up a combined global wholesale volume of $120 million this year, with the potential of breaking even by yearend.
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