WWD.com/beauty-industry-news/beauty-features/groupe-clarins-kibio-to-do-organic-line-520860/

PARIS — Groupe Clarins and Kibio — the organic beauty brand — have formed a partnership to create a natural organic cosmetics line, the companies announced Thursday.

The firms said under the terms of their agreement, Clarins will acquire a 10 percent stake in Kibio and subscribe to the full amount of a convertible bond issue. The investment is 3 million euros, or $3.8 million at current exchange.

The conversion of the bonds will be allowed starting in 2008 and is there to enable Clarins to increase its shareholding in Kibio to 60 percent.

Kibio, a line of 18 products inspired by the idea of Chinese energy, called Qi, and still in the development phase, was launched during parties at homes in France in April. Since September, the collection has been sold in Galeries Lafayette department stores’ Paris flagship. It is also available through the brand’s Web site, kibio.com.

Prices in the brand’s collection range from 15 euros, or $19, for a 200-ml. shower gel to 59 euros, or $74.85, for a 50-ml. antiaging cream. Industry sources estimated the Kibio line will ring up 200,000 euros, or $253,746, in first-year retail sales.

Kibio was created in 2005 by Pierre Cabane and Laurent Potier.

According to a joint company statement, Clarins’ backing of Kibio will enable the company to pursue its development, while benefiting from Clarins’ research and development, production capabilities, back-office synergies and distribution reach. For Clarins, the new shareholding “highlights the group’s commitment to innovation as it develops a position in the promising new market segment of ‘bio’ [or organic]cosmetics.”

As reported, Christian Courtin, president and chief executive officer of Clarins, said during a recent financial analyst meeting that there are possibilities of “internal initiatives and projects through partnerships.”

The company’s deals already include L’Occitane, the natural Provençal beauty maker; Stella Cadente, the fashion designer, and the 26-year-old jewelry firm David Yurman.

This story first appeared in the October 6, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.