SANOFI SELLS ELLIS SCENT TO PARLUX

NEW YORK--Six months after putting its Perry Ellis fragrance business on the block, Sanofi Beauté Inc. has sold the brand's worldwide manufacturing and distribution rights to Parlux Fragrances Inc. of Pompano Beach, Fla.
The terms were not disclosed, but industry sources speculate that Parlux agreed to a price of $15 million to $18 million for the Ellis business. The worldwide volume of the brand's 1993 women's scent, called 360í, is estimated at $26 million. Of that, $22 million is reportedly done in the U.S., with another $3.5 million in Canada. The remaining sales are generated in the duty-free market. Another $4 million is done by the 1985 introduction, Perry Ellis for Men.
Ilia Lekach, chairman and chief executive officer of Parlux, declined comment on the sale price and volume figures. But he speculated that the Ellis acquisition, slated for completion in December, will give Parlux much needed heft in department stores. It will be added to the June acquisition of the fragrances of Fred Hayman Beverly Hills and the previous purchase of Vicky Tiel's business. Next March, Parlux will launch Todd Oldham's first scent. In addition, another Perry Ellis men's fragrance is in the works.
"The department stores are dominated by a few companies," Lekach said. "I think this will give us critical mass. We probably will be one of the most representative of American designer fragrance groups. This will bring Parlux onto a different plateau altogether in terms of department store power."
Lekach said he sees strong possibilities for Ellis in the Mideast and South America, based on its performance in Puerto Rico and Colombia.
Lekach said he is not interested in any other Sanofi brands. The parent Sanofi, a Paris-based pharmaceutical giant, launched a drive last May to sell off its smaller cosmetics and fragrance brands, including Geoffrey Beene, Fendi and Krizia. Last month, Sanofi said it had signed an agreement to sell its Stendhal skin care line to Jacques Bogart.

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