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 Douglas to Acquire S.A. Lavigne

BERLIN — Douglas Perfumeries is quadrupling its number of doors in France.

The German beauty retailer has agreed to acquire the French perfumery group S.A. Lavigne, effective July 1. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Lavigne Group operates 150 Elytis perfumeries in France, 35 of which are company-owned doors and 115 of which are franchise shops. Net sales for the group last year reached 52 million euros, or $70 million at average exchange rates.

Douglas has 55 perfumeries in France, which generated sales of about 77 million euros, or $93 million, during the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

Douglas said the Elytis store network complements its presence in France, with “virtually no duplication or overlapping.” The Elytis stores will successively assume the Douglas name, though a time frame has not been set for the changeover.

With 800 doors, Douglas Perfumeries have a presence in 17 countries. In fiscal 2003-2004, the chain posted net sales of 1.3 billion euros, or about $1.57 billion.
— Melissa Drier

Laura Ashley vs. L’Oréal

LONDON — U.K. retailer Laura Ashley is seeking approximately 28 million British pounds, or $51.1 million at current exchange rates, in compensation from L’Oréal, following the 2002 termination by L’Oréal of a 20-year licensing agreement allowing L’Oréal to manufacture Ashley perfumes and toiletries, which Ashley granted in 1996. L’Oréal terminated the license following a dispute between the two companies. During an initial tribunal in October at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, the body ruled in favor of Laura Ashley, finding L’Oréal’s purported termination of the license to be invalid. The second phase of the tribunal is due to be heard in 2006, when costs and compensation will be decided.
— Nina Jones

Inter Parfums’ Madar Honored

NEW YORK — Jean Madar, chairman, chief executive officer and co-founder of New York-based Inter Parfums Inc., has been named Ernst & Young’s Metropolitan New York Entrepreneur of the Year — for the second time.

This story first appeared in the June 20, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

This year, Madar was honored in the consumer products category. Eleven years ago, he received the award in the manufacturing, distribution and transportation category. A panel of judges made up of local community and business leaders “recognizing excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurial spirit” made this year’s selection, Inter Parfums stated.

While in his early 20s, Madar moved here from Paris in 1985. After co-founding Inter Parfums with Philippe Benacin, the firm was taken public in 1988. As the company built a mass market business in the U.S., a strategy was enacted to build a prestige business in Europe, where Madar and Benacin had previously formed Inter Parfums SA in Paris in 1983.

In 1991, Inter Parfums SA became a subsidiary of Inter Parfums Inc. as a result of a reorganization of the companies, which were under common control. Madar and Benacin owned Inter Parfums SA, and they had Inter Parfums Inc. acquire Inter Parfums SA via procurement of more shares by Madar and Benacin.

Inter Parfums is the worldwide licensee for Burberry, S.T. Dupont, Paul Smith, Christian Lacroix, Celine, Diane von Furstenberg and Lanvin. The firm also has a controlling interest in men’s skin care brand Nickel and is a top supplier of mass market fragrances, cosmetics and personal care products.

Other winners of this year’s Ernst & Young award will be announced during a November awards gala in Palm Springs.
— Matthew W. Evans