Coty is the world's biggest fragrance manufacturer and, following a series of large-scale acquisitions, now among the leaders in both the mass and prestige beauty markets, and also in salon 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, Bruno Banani and Davidoff as well as celebrities as diverse as Jennifer Lopez, David Beckham, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. The group's cosmetics products include Rimmel and Lancaster. These have been joined over the past five years by a large collection of other brands. In 2012, Coty 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. There have been many other such purchases since then (including GHD hair styling products, Brazil's Monange and Risque brands, direct seller Younique and the Tiffany and Burberry cosmetics licenses among others), but the company's biggest deal by far was the - in hindsight, over-ambitious and ill-conceived - 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. However, Coty has been struggling to manage its vastly expanded portfolio ever since. A crucial factor was the dramatic slump in performance by the P&G brands during the extended delay between agreement of the takeover and its completion a year later. Mass consumer brands CoverGirl and Clairol were especially badly affected. That prompted a massive impairment charge in ye 2019, resulting in a net loss of $3.8bn, the group's third consecutive deficit and its biggest by far. Revenues for the year were $8.6bn, well below the previous year's figure. Pierre Laubies replaced Camillo Pane as CEO in 2018. Coty is controlled by JAB Holdings, the investment vehicle for the Reimann family of Germany. Other interests include coffee roasting and retail.
Capsule checked 24th September 2019
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Adbrands Daily Update 18th Nov 2019: Even as it seeks buyers for one set of brands acquired in its last acquisition splurge, Coty keeps adding to its portfolio with new high-value deals. The company has agreed to acquire majority control of Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics beauty business for a whopping $600m. "Kylie and her team will continue to lead all creative efforts in terms of product and communications initiatives, building on her unrivalled global reach capabilities through social media." Coty will take control of manufacturing, distribution and product development. The deal values Kylie Cosmetics at just over $1.2bn, more than six times its annual revenues. Coty declared its brand sales at $177m for the past 12 months.
Adbrands Daily Update 22nd Oct 2019: In a dramatic about-face, Coty announced it is exploring strategic alternatives - that famous euphemism for a sell-off - for several of the brands it has acquired over the past four years. The group has put its whole professional beauty business "and associated hair brands" on the block. That includes Clairol, Wella, Sebastian and other brands acquired from P&G as well OPI nailcare and GHD hair styling tools. Also up for sale is the group's Brazilian beauty division, formerly Hypermarcas. Combined sales of the portfolio are around $2.7bn, equivalent to around a third of Coty's total revenues.
Adbrands Daily Update 31st Aug 2019: Coty attempted to clear the decks for a turnaround of its struggling consumer beauty division with a huge $4bn impairment charge for the year, mainly against the various brands acquired from P&G. That resulted in a final net loss of $3.8bn. Revenues slipped back 3.5% organic to $8.6bn as poor performance by CoverGirl, Clairol and other mass market brands was offset by strength in luxury products, primarily the Burberry, Gucci and Clavin Klein fragrance brands. Organic decline across the consumer beauty division was 10.5%, and almost 2% in professional beauty, compared to almost 5% growth in luxury beauty. The group is also still labouring under massive debts, which grew to $7.4bn
Adbrands Daily Update 1st Jul 2019: Coty announced an overhaul of its operating structure and a change of strategy in an attempt to overcome continuing problems in the brands it acquired from P&G two years ago. The biggest headline-grabber was a proposed $3bn impairment charge in the current year. The group will also spend another $600m over three years to downsize staffing and products, and to reorganise its main consumer business into two regional operating divisions and a separate global brand marketing unit. Professional products will continue to operate as a fourth distinct division. Fiona Hughes and Simona Cattaneo were named as global presidents of consumer beauty and luxury beauty respectively. Edgar Huber becomes regional president for the Americas & Asia Pacific geographical division, while Gianni Pieraccioni is his counterpart overseeing EMEA. All four report to CEO Pierre Laubies.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Nov 2018: Coty CEO Camillo Pane has resigned with immediate effect, apparently for family reasons, and is replaced by former Jacobs Douwe Egberts chief Pierre Laubies. Both companies fall under the umbrella for investment group JAB Holdings. At the same time as Pane's departure, Bart Becht is stepping down as chairman of Coty, to be succeeded by his JAB colleague Peter Harf, himself a former CEO of Coty. The company is still struggling to consolidate the large collection of beauty brands acquired two years ago from Procter & Gamble, and reported disappointing results for its latest quarter with declines in both revenues and profits. Harf plans to launch a "renewal process to bring new perspectives to the company."
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