Revlon Buys Several Fragrance Brands

Times Staff Writer

Revlon Group, the nation's biggest beauty company, on Tuesday bought some well-known fragrances and Bain de Soleil tanning products from a unit of Yves Saint Laurent S.A. for $150 million.

Revlon turned around and sold Bain de Soleil, the nation's second-biggest tanning products brand with about $17 million in annual sales, to Richardson-Vicks, a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble. The sale price wasn't disclosed.

Revlon is getting such mass-market brands as Jean Nate and Enjoli as well as the Forever Krystle and Carrington fragrances, whose names were taken from the "Dynasty" television show. Revlon is also taking over the Charles of the Ritz and Alexandra de Markoff brands, considered prestige fragrances and sold primarily in department stores.

Nancy Hall, a cosmetic industry analyst with Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. in New York, said those brands accounted for about $120 million in annual sales. She said the addition of Charles of the Ritz and Alexandra de Markoff would help Revlon in the department store business, where it has been losing market share.

"This really fits their (Revlon's) strategy of building market share through acquisitions," Hall said.

Revlon has been expanding its beauty business since Ronald O. Perelman acquired control of the closely held firm in November, 1985. Last December, he purchased Max Factor, which includes the Almay and Halston fragrance lines, for $345 million. Earlier this year, he paid about $10 million for the U.S. business of Germaine Monteil Cosmetiques from Beecham Corp. PLC, a British drug company. Those lines include Lancaster skin-care products and Diane von Furstenberg fragrances.

Perelman took Revlon private in April for $783 million. Revlon has an estimated $1.8 billion in annual sales.

With Tuesday's purchase, Revlon is acquiring most of the lines of fragrance that Yves Saint Laurent took over when it bought Charles of the Ritz last November from Squibb Inc. for $630 million.

Yves Saint Laurent, the French fashion design house, is, however, keeping the more profitable Charles of the Ritz line of luxury perfumes, which include Paris and Opium, one of the top three best-selling perfumes worldwide.

Pierre Berge, Yves Saint Laurent chairman, said in a statement that the sale was "part of our strategic plan to concentrate our efforts on our international reputation for designer luxury products."

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