PARIS — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton confirmed Monday that it has appointed Pamela Baxter as president of the Perfumes & Cosmetics Group for the U.S., a newly created position. She will oversee LVMH’s American beauty businesses.

This confirms a report that appeared in WWD Friday, page 1. Baxter, who will move into her new LVMH role on Jan. 1, has been president of the specialty group worldwide at Estée Lauder Cos. since May 2001. She will leave Lauder Sept. 30.

Prior to being named to her present post at Lauder, Baxter served as general manager of Aramis and Tommy Hilfiger and assisted with the leadership of La Mer, Jo Malone, Donna Karan Cosmetics and Kate Spade Beauty. When she moved up to president, Baxter retained worldwide responsibility for those four brands while also adding Prescriptives.

Baxter joined Aramis in California in 1981 as an account executive. She transferred to New York in 1990 to lead development of the Tuscany Per Donna fragrance. Baxter was named vice president for marketing of Aramis in 1994 and became the brand’s national sales manager in 1995. She became general manager of Hilfiger and Aramis in 1997.

LVMH said Monday that Baxter’s experience and insight into the North American market will help LVMH “intensify the development of its Perfumes and Cosmetics business, notably in the U.S.”

— Pete Born

Fantastic Sams Sold

NEW YORK — The owners of Cheveux LLC have finalized the purchase of Fantastic Sams, a leading full-service franchise hair salon company. Cheveux, which is based in Peabody, Mass., paid approximately $17 million for Fantastic Sams on Aug. 5, according to a company spokesperson. The purchase was made from Opal Concepts, which filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in July 2002. Cheveux was formed three years ago when it purchased Fantastic Sams’ New England region.

Fantastic Sams was founded in 1974 in Memphis and is now reportedly the world’s leading value-priced, full-service hair franchise with more than 1,300 salons in the U.S., Canada and Asia. The majority of salons are individually owned and operated by entrepreneurs.

Jack Keilt, a founder of Cheveux, isnow the president and ceo of Fantastic Sams. In a statement, Keilt said Cheveux plans to “dedicate substantial resources to hiring additional employees, training at all levels of the operation, developing new product and expanding the number of salons.” Equity funding for the purchase was helped in part by Cheveux’s four principles, Tim Halvorsen, Anne Halvorsen, Jack Keilt and Stephen Freyer, as well as Pouschine Cook Capital Management LLC, a New York-based, middle-market private equity firm.— Andrea M.G. Nagel

Burt’s Bees Still in Play

NEW YORK — Burt’s Bees is still weeks away from signing on the dotted line with a purchaser, according to sources. Recent reports said the company would close on a deal this week with New York-based buyout firm AEA Investors. Roxanne Quimby, co-owner and founder of the Durham, N.C.-based personal care company would not comment on rumors, which she called “completely speculative.” Quimby is currently at a trade show in Washington D.C.

As reported, Burt’s Bees, a maker of natural cosmetics, lip balms and salves, has been on the selling block since April. The company has for the past several years strategically broadened its product categories to include color and more upscale skin care products to make it more attractive as a complete beauty brand. The company generated as much as $90 million in sales in 2002, and could fetch as much as $200 million.

— A.M.G.N

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