Coty is now the world's biggest fragrance manufacturer, and among the leaders in both the mass and prestige cosmetics markets. 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. 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, but Coty has been struggling to manage its enormously expanded portfolio ever since. 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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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."
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Aug 2018: Beauty group Coty's performance for the year to June 2018, which included the first full-year contribution from P&G Beauty, was lacklustre. Revenues of $9.4bn 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 acquired from P&G. More importantly, though, the group is still wrestling to turn around key North American consumer brands acquired from P&G including Clairol and CoverGirl. Net loss reduced to $169m. The results coincided (or prompted) a shakeup of the management team. Group CFO Patrice de Tallhouet is leaving the company; so is Shannon Curtin, SVP consumer beauty North America. She will be replaced by Andrew Stanleick, who had been leading consumer beauty EMEA.
Adbrands Weekly Update 12th Jul 2018: Coty restructured the marketing department for its consumer beauty division with the appointment of three divisional chief marketing officers. Ukonwa Ojo was named CMO for global Cover Girl and Sally Hansen, and also consumer beauty US. The latter category includes all US colour cosmetics including Rimmel. Mark Cooper becomes CMO for retail hair, body care and lifestyle scenting; which includes the Clairol and Wella brands and mass fragrance and body care brands such as Adidas, David Beckham, Katy Perry and Nautica. Mike Bryce will be CMO for international colour cosmetics, with global responsibility for Rimmel, Bourjois and non-US makeup brands. All three are supported by Jing Mertoglu, who becomes SVP, consumer marketing & insights for global consumer beauty; and Sean Foster, now SVP, digital and e-commerce for consumer beauty.
Adbrands Social Media 20th Oct 2017: Actor Jake Gyllenhaal makes his debut as a brand ambassador (for any product) in this tie-up with Coty's Calvin Klein Eternity fragrance. Directed by Cary Fukunaga, the film also features Gyllenhaal's real-life wife and young daughter. Stylistically similar to most of the brand's previous semi-mystical and romantic ads, it's sweet and poetic... but also, in our opinion, saccharine-sweet enough to make your teeth itch.
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Free for all users | see full profile for current activities: 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 business partner in the 1850s, and eventually acquired Benckiser's shares. 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. See full profile for current activities
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