Beauty Beat: LVMH Taps Semerari to Head Sephora Europe… Art & Fragrance IPO Set…

Changes are afoot at LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton here.

PARIS — Changes are afoot at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton here.

The French luxury giant announced Wednesday that Renato Semerari, president and chief executive officer of Guerlain, will become president and ceo of Sephora Europe starting Oct. 1. In his new post, Semerari is to report to Jacques Levy, president and ceo of Sephora.

Until now, as part of his job, Levy had overseen the perfumery chain’s European business.

Replacing Semerari at Guerlain on Oct. 1 will be Laurent Boillot, general manager of the beauty brand. In his new role, Boillot is to report to LVMH group managing director Toni Belloni.

“We are happy to see two talented managers take additional responsibility within the group,” said Belloni in a statement. “Renato has led the remarkable renaissance of Guerlain over the last five years. His leadership and beauty expertise are a meaningful reinforcement of our capabilities to support Sephora’s ambitious plans. Laurent has been his right arm over these years. He has the skills and intimate knowledge of the brand to bring Guerlain to new heights.”

Prior to Guerlain, Semerari worked at Parfums Christian Dior, where he was international marketing director, starting in 1999. Before that, Semerari served as marketing director for Southern Europe for Procter & Gamble Co., beginning in 1986. Semerari received a degree in business administration from the University of Rome.

Boillot joined Guerlain in 2002 as its marketing director. Starting in 1999, he was at Unilever, where his last post was marketing director of the European hair care category. Boillot began his career in 1988 in advertising at the Havas Group. He earned his degree from Rouen Business School.

Sephora, with 671 doors worldwide as of June 30, up 16.5 percent versus the same prior-year period, is growing at a robust pace. In the first half of this year, it completed 18 openings in Europe, bringing its total store count there to 485.

Also in the first half, Guerlain continued improving its profitability while increasing its media investments, according to LVMH. The company said the brand’s profit from recurring operations recorded a new and major increase.
— Jennifer Weil

Art & Fragrance IPO Set

LONDON — Art & Fragrance SA is going public.

This story first appeared in the September 13, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Zollikerberg, Switzerland-based fragrance and cosmetics manufacturer plans to make its debut on the Berne stock exchange on Wednesday.

The company’s founder and sole shareholder, Silvio Denz, is selling up to one million of his five million shares in the company at a unit price of 20 Swiss francs to 23 Swiss francs, or $16.90 to $19.43 at current exchange. That equates to a market capitalization of between 100 million Swiss francs and 115 million Swiss francs, or $84.5 million and $97.1 million.

Art & Fragrance owns the Parfums Alain Delon, Parfums Grès and Ultrasun brands, as well as the license for Jaguar Fragrances.

“The aim of the flotation on the Berne stock exchange is to broaden our ownership structure and increase our visibility,” said Denz in a statement. “We are pursuing an ambitious growth strategy, the aim of which is not only to exploit the potential of our brand portfolio more fully, but also to acquire additional brands and take on strategic holdings. As a listed company, we will create additional transparency and therefore raise confidence among existing and new partners.”

In 2006, Art & Fragrance generated net profits of 11.2 million Swiss francs, or $9.5 million. Its operating revenues, which include sales and other regular income, hit 40 million Swiss francs, or $33.8 million.
— Brid Costello

CEO Shift at Selective

PARIS — Selective Beauty, the fragrance manufacturer and distributor based here, has made some top-level management changes.

Christophe Cervasel, a company co-founder and chief executive officer, has been named chairman of Selective Beauty Corp., a fully owned affiliate of Selective Beauty, based in New York and started one year ago.

A new ceo based in Paris will be recruited and report to Corrado Brondi, a company co-founder and president of Selective Beauty. Until the ceo is named, Hervé Lesieur has taken the role of Selective Beauty’s executive chairman. He was formerly president of Shiseido-owned Decléor and Carita, and has been a shareholder in Selective Beauty for one year.

Once a ceo is signed on, Cervasel will also become a member of Selective Beauty’s advisory board.

— J.W.