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.

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