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Coty is the world's biggest fragrance manufacturer and, following a series of large-scale acquisitions, among the leaders in both the mass and prestige beauty markets, and also in haircare. The portfolio is led by the worldwide Calvin Klein fragrance franchise, acquired from Unilever in 2005. Other key brands include major licenses on behalf of Adidas and Davidoff as well as celebrities as diverse as Jennifer Lopez, David Beckham, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, while the group's cosmetics products include Rimmel and Lancaster. However, expansion has been on Coty's mind for some time. In 2012, it launched an unsuccessful offer to acquire troubled rival Avon for $10.7bn. Three years later, it had more luck with French cosmetics brand Bourjois, acquired from Chanel for $240m in stock. There have been many other such purchases, but its biggest deal by far was the acquisition for $12.5bn of a huge chunk of Procter & Gamble's beauty business, including Cover Girl and Max Factor cosmetics, Clairol and Wella haircare and almost the entire P&G Prestige fragrance portfolio including the licenses for Hugo Boss and Gucci, among others. That deal, which more than doubled the size of the company, completed towards the end of 2016. Coty is controlled by JAB Holdings, the investment vehicle for the Reimann family of Germany. Other interests include luxury goods and coffee roasting and retail.
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Headquartered in New York, Coty now has operations in 35 countries and sells its products in almost another 100. It is the global leader in fragrances, #2 in professional haircare and #3 in colour cosmetics.
Once known mainly for cheap mass-market fragrances, Coty has developed an impressive prestige business through a combination of skilful licensing, especially in the celebrity market, and astute acquisitions, not least the substantial Unilever perfume portfolio. Flaws remained nonetheless. Coty was still heavily reliant on fragrances, and especially the fast-fading celebrity segment. Despite its Rimmel and Lancaster brands, it also had a comparatively weak presence in the cosmetics and skincare sectors, and a low profile in Asia, although it had begun to fix this with a licensing arrangement with strong local player Kose.
Since 2012 it has steadily set about fixing these weaknesses. That year, Coty launched a $10bn takeover bid for rival Avon, already a strong player in China, but struggling with a series of financial problems as well as restless investors. The offer was immediately declined. Coty increased its bid to $10.7bn, only to withdraw a few days later when Avon refused to engage in friendly negotiations. Coty had already pledged not to pursue a hostile takeover. Instead the group filed to issue an IPO. After several delays, the IPO went ahead in June 2013, raising $1bn for Coty's shareholders.
At the time of its IPO it identified ten international "power brands" across the group: Adidas, Calvin Klein, Chloé, Davidoff, Marc Jacobs, OPI, Philosophy, Playboy, Rimmel and Sally Hansen, which between them accounted for 72% of revenues in 2014, or $3.3bn. Further extensive changes came with the group's absorption of the P&G Beauty business, which has more than doubled Coty's size, elevating it to the global #1 position in fragrance above L'Oreal. Not all P&G's brands came across: several required the consent of the individual licensor. D&G was the biggest hold-out, declining the opportunity to transfer to Coty and being acquired by Shideido instead.
In the mean time, the group continued to make other acquisitions. In Nov 2015, it announced the purchase of the the beauty and personal care operations of Brazilian OTC leader Hypermarcas for $902m, roughly four times their annual sales. The deal includes multi-segment Dove-equivalent Monange, Risque nail polish, Bozzano men's care, skincare brand Paixao and hair colourant Biocolor. The purchase vaulted Coty in the #1 position in Brazil, now the world's third largest beauty market. Another new development was the signing of a licensing deal with luxury retailer Tiffany to launch a range of men's and women's fragrances under that brand.
Towards the end of 2016, Coty also agreed to buy UK-based Ghd, the maker of hair styling appliances, for $530m. Early in 2017, it added a joint venture with premium-priced US beauty range Younique, which is sold peer-to-peer by independent resellers like Avon or Mary Kay but at higher pricepoints. Coty acquired a 60% stake in that businesss for $600m.
Following completion of the acquisition in October 2016, the group was split into three operating divisions of luxury (fragrances & skin care), consumer beauty (cosmetics, retail hair products, body care) and professional beauty (salon hair and nail care). A separate unit, growth & digital, oversees strategy and corporate development.
The luxury portfolio houses most of the brands acquired from P&G Prestige. The single biggest brand within the group as a whole is the Calvin Klein fragrances portfolio, acquired in 2005 as part of Unilever's prestige fragrances division. The products are produced under license from the main Calvin Klein fashion business. It embraces a range of successful fragrances led by four main brand families: Obsession, Eternity, CK One and newest blockbuster Euphoria. Combined sales are around $800m. Other licenses acquired from Unilever as part of this deal included Cerruti, Vera Wang, Chloe and Lagerfeld. In 2003 the group acquired from LVMH licenses to market fragrances under the Marc Jacobs brand, as well as Kenneth Cole (transferred to Parlux in 2012). Marc Jacobs and Chloe have been elevated to the group's collection of power brands. They were the group's #2 and #4 brands by sales in fiscal 2015, alongside Calvin Klein (#1) and Davidoff (#3).
The group's third heritage power brand is Davidoff, marketed by its Prestige division under license from Oettinger Group of Geneva, which controls the estate of famed cigar manufacturer Zino Davidoff. Lancaster first acquired the license in 1985, and launched Davidoff Cool Water in 1988. A string of further men's fragrances have followed including Echo Davidoff, Cool Water Deep, Zino Davidoff and others, as well as women's fragrances.
The P&G deal added fragrance licenses for Hugo Boss, Gucci, Lacoste, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen as well as lesser brands Bruno Banani, Escada, Mexx, Gabriela Sabatini and James Bond 007. In Spring 2017, Coty also added the Burberry license to its portfolio.
Hugo Boss, also the group's single biggest fragrance brand, produced under license from German fashion group Hugh Boss AG. Euromonitor & Sanford Bernstein estimated sales of $593m in 2013. There are three main fragrance families: the more formal and sophisticated Boss range (fronted by brand ambassadors Gwynneth Paltrow and Ryan Reynolds), relaxed and urban Boss Orange (represented by Orlando Bloom), and funky, clubby Hugo (with Jared Leto).
Coty's consumer beauty houses its mass-market cosmetics brands, as well as a smaller collection of lower-priced fragrances. One of the flagships of the old Coty Beauty business is colour cosmetics range Rimmel London. Acquired from Unilever in the early 1990s, it is the leading mass-distribution cosmetics brand in the UK, and a major brand in around 45 other territories. It was launched in the US in 2001, initially exclusively through Wal-Mart, though it widened its distribution to other mass-marketers in 2004. Coty has assembled a line-up of brand ambassadors to promote the range including Georgia May Jagger (daughter of Mick), Kate Moss, Puerto Rican model Alejandra Ramos Munoz, singers Rita Ora and Solange Knowles and actress Zooey Deschanel. In 2003 the group acquired a license from Du Pont to use the Lycra brand name and related technical processes in cosmetic products, and rolled out the first product under that deal in 2004, a Rimmel London nail polish containing Lycra to reduce cracking and peeling. A line of Rimmel fragrances also launched in 2003, including London Glam and London Cool in the US (through Wal-Mart), and Beat by Rimmel in Europe. In 2006, Coty sub-licensed rights to the Rimmel brand in Asia to local cosmetics group Kose.
In April 2015, the group strengthened its cosmetics portfolio significantly with the acquisition of premium French brand Bourjois from Chanel for around $240m in shares. The French luxury group ended up with approximately 4% of Coty's equity. Bourjois was founded in France in 1863 by actor Joseph-Albert Ponsin. Two further cosmetics brands were added in October 2016 with the acquisition from P&G of mass-market range CoverGirl and prestige Max Factor. CoverGirl gives Coty a much stronger position in mass-market US cosmetics, where Rimmel and Bourjois are niche brands at best. However, the brand suffered steep declines in its final months under P&G, and its relaunch has been one of the hardest challenges for Coty following the P&G acquisition. The brand has lined up a strong roster of brand ambassadors to support the relaunch including singer Katy Perry, actress Issa Rae, motorcycle racer Shelina Moreda and Food Network host Ayesha Curry.
Adidas toiletries, also from Coty Beauty, are marketed under license from the sportswear giant. The range comprises a number of men's and women's fragrances including Sports Sensations, Moves, Adrenaline, adidas 3 and others. A selection of skincare and deodorant products were added in 2003, targeting the men's grooming sector inhabited by Axe.
The group has demonstrated considerable success in the field of personality-driven fragrance licenses. Glow by J Lo was Coty's first celebrity fragrance, and the launch product in the Jennifer Lopez Beauty portfolio. Introduced in 2002, it earned more than $100m at wholesale in its first year, making it one of the industry's most successful launches. Follow-up Still Jennifer Lopez was one of the top five women's fragrance launches in 2003, and Miami Glow by J Lo launched in 2004, along with a cosmetics line. A series of additional products have followed, making the J Lo fragrance franchise one of the world's most successful. The J Lo range is reported to generate sales well in excess of $100m a year (of which J Lo herself receives between 5% and 10% in royalties).
Targeting a wider audience, Celine Dion Parfum launched in 2003, and was among that year's best-selling mass-market fragrances. Further products have followed. Other personality licenses include a low-cost range of fragrances for TV star twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and in Europe for actress Isabella Rossellini. In 2005 Coty Beauty launched fragrances under license for football superstar David Beckham and his wife Victoria, for singer Shania Twain. The Prestige group introduced licenses for actress Sarah Jessica Parker, for Kimora Lee Simmons' hip hop fashion label Baby Phat, and for singer Gwen Stefani's L.A.M.B. clothing line. The Beauty group also has fragrances and ancillaries under the Kylie Minogue, Desperate Housewives, Kate Moss and Halle Berry banners, as well as men's range under license from Playboy and country singer Tim McGraw. A fragrance deal was agreed with Beyonce in 2009, and the group also acquired rights to the Guess? range. The group signed partnership deals with designer Roberto Cavalli in 2010, and with Madonna, Lady Gaga and supermodel Heidi Klum in 2011. The Gaga fragrance, launched in 2012, boasted of being the world's first black perfume. Black in the bottle, it becomes transparent when exposed to air. Towards the end of that year, Katy Perry also joined the Coty portfolio.
Coty also has a strong portfolio of regional brands. In the United States, Coty markets several of the best-selling mass-market fragrances. Stetson was the best-selling men's cologne for almost 15 years between its launch in 1981 and 1995 and still ranks among the top five. Other US brands include Exclamation, Vanilla Fields and Jovan. The group repeatedly sought ways of launching its Calgon fragrance brand into the Europe, but was hampered by the fact that Calgon is the name used in that region by Reckitt Benckiser's limescale removing product. It eventually sold its Calgon fragrance line, as well as Healing Garden scented bath products, to Ascendia Brands in 2007. Coty's European brands include Pierre Cardin, Esprit and Miss Sixty fragrances under license, Astor cosmetics, and I Love Me, a fragrance range for teenagers in Europe in partnership with the Spanish confectionery brand Chupa Chups. In 2010, the group acquired German group Dr Scheller, whose local brands include Manhattan cosmetics.
Other products in the Prestige portfolio include Lancaster skincare and cosmetics products, JOOP!, Chopard, Jil Sander and Vivienne Westwood. The group acquired rights to Nautica fragrances in 2004 from VF Corporation, following expiry of the previous contract with Unilever. Until summer 2013, it also managed distribution in North America of Puig Fashion & Beauty brands including Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera, Prada and Paco Rabanne.
The group exited the local Chinese market in 2003 with the sale of its Ye-Kai San business to L'Oreal. It jumped back in at the end of 2010 with the acquisition of a controlling stake in skincare group TJoy, which specialises in male grooming and skin whitening products, for $346m. However that business performed poorly and was discontinued mid 2014. In 2007, the group agreed to acquire US company Del Laboratories, which makes cosmetics products including Sally Hansen nail polish. Del's oralcare brands were sold on to Church & Dwight. Another salon nailcare company, OPI, joined the portfolio in 2010 with a price tag of $950m, along with skincare and body care brand Philosophy for $930m.
Coty Group sales for the year ending June 2014 were $4.55bn, down 2% on the year before. After a net loss of of $324m in ye 2012 (largely as a result of impairments totalling $576m), the group was back in the black for ye 2013 with net attributable profit of $168m. However, there was another loss for ye 2014 of $97m as a result of a $317m impairment charge against the skin & body care segment, mainly for the closure of the TJoy business. Currency fluctuations left a 3% dent in revenues for the year to June 2015, at just under $4.40bn. At constant rates, sales rose 2%. The prior year's loss was replaced by net income of $233m.
For its final year pre-P&G, net revenues slipped 1% to $4.35bn, mainly as a result of currencies. Declines in fragrances and skin & body care were offset by growth in colour cosmetics. Attributable net income dropped by a third to $157m as a result of costs related to the acquisition of the Beamly digital platform and Brazilian company Hypermarcas during the year. On an adjusted basis excluding one-off items, profits rose 19% year-on-year. Fragrances accounted for 46% of sales, or $2.01bn; colour cosmetics for 36% ($1.55bn) and skin & body care for most of the remainder ($693m). The US is the group's biggest market, with local sales of around $1bn. Germany and the UK each account for around $400m.
Proforma sales for the enlarged Coty, following the addition of P&G Beauty, are estimated at $8.9bn. For the year to June 2017, including part-year contributions from P&G, Hypermarcas and other acquisitions, reported revenues were $7.65bn, down by 1% on an equivalent like-for-like basis. Acquisition expenses, finance costs restructuring and impairments left a $1.2bn dent on bottom line, though, resulting in a net loss of $422m. For ye 2017, fragrances accounted for 36% of reported sales, or $2.76bn; cosmetics for 30% or $2.26bn; hair care for 22% or $1.67bn; and skin & body care for the remainder, or $949m.
Performance for the year to June 2018, including the first full-year contribution from P&G, was lacklustre. Revenues of $9.40bn were up 23% on a reported basis, but the like for like organic increase was just 0.4%. Growth in the luxury and professional beauty divisions was offset by a 4% decline in consumer beauty. Negative factors included a truckers' strike in Brazil (which impacted on all packaged goods companies in that country) as well as supply chain disruptions caused by consolidation of distribution centres. Net loss reduced to $169m. Combined sales from luxury beauty were $3.21bn, with operating profit of $249m. Consumer beauty contributed revenues of $4.27bn and operating income of $279m. Professional beauty added topline of $1.92bn and operating income of $119m. Europe remains Coty's biggest region at 45% of revenues, compared to 32% from North America.
For the year to 2019, revenues slipped back to $8.65bn, down 3.5% on an organic basis. A double-digit decline in consumer beauty, and single-digit in professional beauty was offset by 5% organic growth in luxury. Adjusted net profit was $488m, but the group took a mammoth $4bn impairment charge against its consumer beauty business, primarily CoverGirl and Clairol. That resulted in a final net loss of $3.8bn.
Following the P&G merger, JAB Holdings remains the single biggest shareholder, but its stake has reduced from more than 80% to around 33%. The group is controlled by the Reimann family of Germany. JAB still retains around 8% of the equity of Reckitt Benckiser. In 2008, the family also acquired Swiss shoe and leather goods maker Bally. Founded in 1851 by Carl Franz Bally, the company has sales of around $500m annually, and controls its own chain of around 250 outlets worldwide as well as sales through other retailers. It had been owned since 1999 by US private equity group TPG Capital. The business became the core of a new privately owned luxury goods group, Labelux, headquartered in Milan and Vienna. Several smaller acquisitions followed, capped by the purchase of shoemaker Jimmy Choo for £550m in 2011. In 2014, the group issued a separate IPO of around 30% of Jimmy Choo. Separately, since 2012, JAB has established a position as the world's biggest coffee company. See Jacobs Douwe Egberts for more.
Bernd Beetz stepped down as CEO of Coty in August 2012 and was succeeded by Michele Scannavini, formerly president, Coty Prestige. Scannavini led the group through its IPO but resigned abruptly in Sept 2014, apparently for personal reasons. He was replaced on an interim basis by chairman Bart Becht. A fulltime appointee was finally named in April 2015: Elio Leoni Sceti, previously CEO of Iglo Group. Two months later, Sceti withdrew from that role with the agreement of the Coty board. His decision was almost certainly prompted by unconfirmed reports that Coty was on the verge of doubling in size with the acquisition of the P&G beauty portfolio. Instead, Becht remained executive chairman & CEO. Camillo Pane, formerly EVP, category development, took over as CEO in October 2016. CFO Patrice de Talhouet stepped down in summer 2018 to be replaced on an interim basis by Ayesha Zafar. In Nov 2018, following a disappointing set of quarterly results, Pane stepped down as CEO - apparently for family reasons - and Becht resigned as chairman. Pierre Laubies was named as CEO; another former Coty CEO, Peter Harf, becomes chairman.
In the summer 2014 overhaul of group structure, Coty Beauty president Renato Semerari was named as president, Categories & Innovation. However he left the group the following year. Jean Mortier, previously president Coty Prestige, became president, Global Markets in 2014, but retired the following November and was succeeded by Edgar Huber, now president, Coty Luxury. Other officers include Pierre-Andre Terisse (CFO), Luc Volatier (EVP, supply chain) and Daniel Ramos (SVP & chief scientific officer).
The executive committee was initially joined post-P&G by Esi Eggleston Bracey, who became president of the new Coty consumer beauty division; and also Sylvie Moreau, who became president, Coty professional beauty. Former Walgreens executive Shannon Curtin was appointed as SVP, North America consumer beauty. Bracey stepped down in March 2017, to be replaced by Laurent Kleitman, ex-Unilever; Curtin departed in summer 2018 to be replaced by Andrew Stanleick. Kleitman left at the beginning of 2019; his duties were inherited by Gianni Pieraccioni, as COO, Consumer Beauty
Simona Cattaneo is chief marketing officer, Coty Luxury, based in Paris. Laura Simpson is chief marketing officer, Coty Professional Beauty, based in Geneva.
Olivier Goudet is CEO of Joh A Benckiser Holding Company (and also non-executive chairman of AB InBev). All these various interests are controlled by the Reimann family of Germany, represented by four of the nine adopted children of Albert Reimann, former group CEO and grandson of Johann Benckiser's original business partner. All nine Reimannn children inherited equal shares in the business on their father's death in 1984. However, Wolfgang, Renate, Matthias and Stefan Reimann gradually bought out their siblings, and now jointly own JAB Holdings between them. Though German by birth, they took Austrian citizenship in 2006 for tax purposes.
The original Benckiser company was founded in 1823 in Germany by Dutch chemist Johann A Benckiser. For the first 130 years of its existence, the company restricted itself to the manufacture of industrial chemicals, such as ammonia and hydrochloric acid. Much of this work was overseen by Ludwig Reimann, who became Benckiser's son-in-law and business partner in the 1850s, and eventually acquired all the shares in the business. His grandson Albert Reimann became head of the business in the 1930s and oversaw its diversification into into household goods in 1956, adapting its industrial products for consumer use. Calgon Water Softener was launched that year, and the group went on to exploit the spread of new household appliances such as the washing machine and dishwasher in the 1960s with the introduction of Calgonit dishwashing detergent in 1964 and Quanto fabric softener two years later.
During the 1980s, Benckiser expanded rapidly through acquisition, spending more than $200m on companies including St Marc in France, Mira Lanza in Italy, Ecolab in the US, and in particular Beecham household products in 1990, following that company's merger with SmithKline Beckman. The latter acquisition included the well-known Astor-Lancaster perfumes business. Lancaster had been founded in Monaco in 1946, named by its founder Georges Wurz after the bomber aircraft he had piloted during World War II. It was acquired by Beecham in 1966 and merged with the existing Margaret Astor business. The purchase of Astor-Lancaster established Benckiser into one of the world's major cosmetics companies.
Rather than sell off the fragrances - an odd fit alongside household cleaning products - Benckiser set about building up that side of the business as a separate operation. In 1992, the group acquired US-based Coty from pharmaceutical group Pfizer. Coty had been one of the world's first commercial fragrance companies. Born in Corsica in 1874, Francois Sporturno moved to Paris in the late 1890s, adopting the name Coty as a variation on his mother's maiden name. He created his first fragrance, La Rose Jacqueminot, in 1904 and opened a shop in Place Vendome four years later. He revolutionised the industry the same year, commissioning jeweller Rene Lalique to produce fine glass bottles for his perfumes. Other cosmetic products followed as well as the hugely successful Chypre perfume. During the 1920s Coty established offices in New York as well as other European capitals. Although he died in 1934, his family retained control of the business. With the outbreak of World War II, they spun off Coty's operations outside France as Coty International, which floated in New York in 1962. The business was acquired the following year by Pfizer and had become North America's leading mass-market fragrance company by the 1990s, when it was purchased by Benckiser.
The group made a series of other purchases following Coty, including Quintessence in the US (makers of Jovan and Aspen), Beauty International in the UK, General Cosmetics in the Netherlands and Unilever's Rimmel-Chicogo cosmetic business. However, a bid for Maybelline in 1996 was topped by L'Oreal. Previously a separate unit, Lancaster Group was absorbed into Coty the same year. Also in 1996, the company formed a joint venture in China with local cosmetics company Yue-Sai Kan. Meanwhile, the household goods business gradually expanded its business through acquisition or launch with a careful strategy of operating in underexploited niche markets, rather than competing head-to-head with the likes of Procter & Gamble or Unilever. By the 1990s the Dutch business was the world's #1 in automatic dishwashing products, claiming a 34% share of the global dishwashing detergent market, and 85% of the water softener market. Sales had grown from $200m in 1970 to almost $3bn in 1998.
In 1997 holding company Johann A Benckiser GmbH, spun off Benckiser cleaning products as a separate company and floated a quarter of its stock in New York and Amsterdam. That business later merged with UK company Reckitt & Colman to form Reckitt Benckiser. This left Coty as the holding company's main operating business. The cosmetics group continued to expand its international presence. In 1999, Coty was rumoured to be one of the companies preparing a bid for troubled US cosmetics firm Revlon. (It didn't materialise). The company also launched a series of new fragrances under the Isabella Rossellini, Esprit and Adidas brands. In 2001 it formed an unconventional alliance with Spanish confectioner Chupa Chups to launch a new line of fragrances and beauty products. In late 2003 the group sold its Chinese-American cosmetics brand Yue-Sai to L'Oreal for an undisclosed amount.
Following the acquisition in 2005 of Unilever's fragrance business, including the Calvin Klein portfolio, for $800m, Coty rebranded its Lancaster Group under the new name Coty Prestige.
Last full revision 26th September 2017
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