By and  on January 21, 2009

PARIS — Groupe Maesa has acquired Zorbit for an estimated $45 million to $50 million.

The deal was sealed Jan. 9, when Maesa, the Levallois-Perret, France-based firm, took a 100 percent stake in Zorbit, of New York. Both companies are private label beauty product makers. Some $12.5 million was paid on the day of the signing, while the remainder will be paid over five years, depending in part on Zorbit’s financial performance.

Zorbit was created in 2003. It also has offices in Los Angeles and Shenzhen, China. The company’s revenues last year were approximately $45 million and in 2007, were $23 million, according to the firm.

Maesa’s sales for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2008, were 38.7 million euros, or $56.9 million at average exchange.

Following Maesa’s acquisition of Zorbit, the company has 200 employees.

Starting on Jan. 16, the team from Maesa’s New York-based subsidiary moved into Zorbit’s headquarters, in the same city. Maesa’s U.S. business should now ring up about $74 million.

Following the acquisition, Zorbit’s U.S. arm, created at the end of 2006, should generate approximately $70 million.

Maesa stated it is on track to reach its sales objectives of $100 million in 2010.

In other Maesa news, the firm said this week it has appointed François Duquesne as chief executive officer of Maesa Beauty and Maesa Home Europe and Laurence Hyest as the company’s chief procurement officer.

Duquesne, who replaces Cyril Jamot, has a lengthy résumé peppered with past roles at beauty, luxury and retailing firms. Most recently, he was a director and president U.S.A. of L’Artisan Parfumeur and at the same time spearheaded Cradle Holdings Group’s Erno Laszlo and Penhaligon’s businesses in the U.S. Duquesne, 43, has also held various positions with Lanvin Parfums, Christofle Group, Zannier Group, Aldi Group and Yves Rocher.

Hyest, 48, replaces Cédric Noël at Maesa. She was recently in charge of procurement and development at Selective Beauty. Hyest has also worked for Annick Goutal, Guerlain, Jean Patou and Cartier.

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