By  on December 4, 2006

BERLIN — In another sign of movement in the fragrance supply industry, Symrise held its initial public offering Friday.

The world's fourth-largest fragrance and flavors supplier, based in Holzminden, Germany, is offering a maximum of 81 million shares at a subscription range of 15.75 to 17.75 euros, or $20.86 to $23.51, at current exchange.

The subscription offer runs through Dec. 8 and the final price will be announced on Dec. 9 or 10.

Dec. 11 is expected to be the first day of trading.

If all shares are purchased at the higher end of the range, this would be Germany's largest IPO this year. Symrise is primed to raise about 1.44 billion euros, or $1.9 billion, which the company said will be used primarily to cut debt and fund expansion.

The Swedish investment firm EQT III Fund and unnamed co-investors now control 80 percent of Symrise. The shares offered include up to 37.8 million shares from a capital increase and up to 32,661,181 shares from the holdings of the company's existing investors. Up to 69 percent of total capital will be on free float after the listing.

Symrise employs some 4,900 people in 26 locations worldwide. In 2005, the company's fragrance supply sales were estimated at 609 million euros, or $758 million at average exchange, out of total sales of 1.15 billion euros, or $1.46 billion.

Analysts suggest that on the heels of Givaudan's acquisition of Quest two weeks ago, Symrise hopes to share in the consolidation of the market and pick up smaller players. Proceeds from the share sale would make it possible for Symrise to do so.

Hargitay Dazzles Bloomingdale's
NEW YORK — Some stars pay lip service to philanthropy, but actress Mariska Hargitay is so passionate about her cause that she created the Joyful Heart Foundation. The organization aims to aid the recovery of sexual abuse survivors, something her "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" character, Olivia Benson, deals with far too often.

To benefit the cause, Hargitay has teamed up with Philosophy founder Cristina Carlino to create Joyful Heart Shower Gel. It retails for $18, and all proceeds benefit the Joyful Heart Foundation. The duo signed more than 400 bottles of the shower gel at Bloomingdale's 59th Street flagship on Friday afternoon, taking the opportunity to unveil the brand's first shop-in-shop."I've been such a personal fan of Philosophy for so many years," said Hargitay, clad in a Gucci top and jacket, True Religion jeans and blue patent leather Ferragamo heels. "I always say there are no accidents — I'd be in my bathroom, soaking in the tub after a long day and reading the Philosophy bottles [which have always featured empowering statements] and saying, ‘I love these people!' It was a natural partnership."

Myra Scheer, a friend of both women, made the initial connection, said Carlino: "[Scheer] said, ‘My good friend, Mariska Hargitay, has this incredible foundation and I want to hook the two of you up — would you be interested?' I said, ‘Of course. Tell me more about the cause.'" One in four — some say one in three, if you factor in unreported cases — women will be victims of rape, incest or other sexual abuse in their lifetimes, which made Carlino eager to help. "I said, ‘We're doing all this stuff with breast cancer, but this is more relevant.'"

Hargitay added, "We have the same agenda: empowering women and helping them heal — mind, body and spirit."

Now that she's tested the beauty waters with Joyful Heart, Hargitay says she's up for deeper involvement in the industry. "I've loved getting my feet wet with Cristina. I was so excited when I saw the shower gel, I cried. I was like, ‘I'm an actor! How did I get here?'" she said with a laugh. "It's so great to be involved with something that makes people feel good. It was a dream realized. I go around calling Cristina my partner."

So could Hargitay be headed for a celebrity fragrance deal? She's clearly not ruling it out. When asked what her celebrity fragrance would smell like, Hargitay immediately answered: "Peonies. They're my favorite flower on the planet. I'm all about peonies. My two favorite scents are peonies and orange blossoms."

And while she's hitting new heights in her professional life, Hargitay has a refreshingly simple goal for her next project: "Getting enough sleep!" she said with a laugh, noting that her son, August — born June 28 — makes that a challenge for her and her husband, Peter Hermann. "My only project right now is being the best mom I can to August."
— Julie NaughtonAlberto-Culver to Cut Jobs
NEW YORK — Now that Alberto-Culver Co. has parted ways with its distribution arm, Sally Beauty Holdings Inc., Alberto-Culver plans to slim down.

As part of its reorganization, the consumer products company will combine two marketing units into one and some international services will be outsourced or combined into regional offices, according to the company. Alberto-Culver will trim about 90 posts from its global workforce of 3,800.

The company expects to take restructuring charges of approximately $13 million and $3 million in the first and second quarters of fiscal 2007, respectively.

Also in the first quarter, the company will take previously announced charges related to its split from Sally Beauty, including payments totaling $14 million to its former president and chief executive officer, Howard B. Bernick, and the former chairman of Sally Beauty, Michael H. Renzulli. Another first-quarter charge is a non-cash charge of approximately $18 million for the acceleration of stock options and restricted stock as of the closing date of the separation transaction.

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