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Douglas Buys Nocibe Chain

The union will represent the largest perfumery chain in France in terms of doors, and the second largest in terms of sales.

BERLIN — Germany’s Douglas Group has finalized its deal to take over the French Nocibé perfumery chain.

AI Perfume France SAS, which is indirectly held by Douglas Holding AG, the parent company of the Douglas Group and Douglas Perfumeries, signed the contract Friday, the company said. The terms of the deal were not provided.

Together, Douglas and Nocibé will have 625 stores, with around 4,000 employees. The union will represent the largest perfumery chain in France in terms of doors, and the second largest in terms of sales. Douglas Perfumeries currently has 1,170 perfumeries around Europe, including 89 in France.

In October 2013, Douglas began negotiating with Nocibé’s owner, Charterhouse Capital Partners. The deal was delayed by an anticompetition inquiry, first started by the European Commission, then turned over to France’s competition authority in December.

Since May 2013, Hagen, Germany-based Douglas Group has been in the hands of Advent International and the founding Kreke family; the joint owners have previously stated their desire to strengthen their position as a leading perfumery holder in Europe.

In a statement, Henning Kreke said, “We are pleased that we can now successfully implement the next step in our growth strategy.”

“Nocibé is already one of the leading French perfumeries, and this transaction offers us excellent additional opportunities,” stated Isabelle Parize, chief executive officer of Nocibé. “The integration into the international Douglas Group comes in concert with our 30th-year anniversary, and marks a turning point for our brand.”

According to its most recent financial reports, Douglas Holding, which owns retailers including Douglas Perfumeries, apparel, jewelry, confectionery and book stores, registered net sales of 3.5 billion euros, or $4.59 at average exchange rates, for its fiscal year, ended Sept. 30, 2013. Reportedly, Douglas is in talks to sell its confectionery arm, Hussel, which has 225 doors in Germany and Austria.