Mercier Seeks Strategic Alternatives
NEW YORK — Gurwitch Products, which produces and markets high-end cosmetics under the Laura Mercier Cosmetics and Skincare line, has hired Financo Inc. as financial adviser to assist in a recapitalization or sale of the company.

"We are reviewing many global opportunities to continue to grow our business," said Janet Gurwitch, chief executive officer of Gurwitch Products, in a statement.

"My board and I believe we should explore all of the options available to maximize our potential," she added.

While strategic alternatives could include a recapitalization or possible sale, there are no assurances there will be a transaction.

Since its founding in 1995, Gurwitch Products LLC has grown into a company that produces and markets Laura Mercier cosmetics, skin care, bath and body and fragrance. The Laura Mercier brand is believed to generate between $60 million and $90 million in annual volume, according to a market source. The products are sold in more than 400 points of sale in 22 countries.

"We believe that Janet Gurwitch and her team have put together a global brand. This is a luxury, high-end brand, which we believe will be very attractive to both strategic as well as financial partners," said Gilbert Harrison, chairman of Financo.

One financial source who specializes in tracking luxury brands observed: "Some of the strategic players that are considered buyers include L'Oréal, Shiseido, Estée Lauder, Clarins and Elizabeth Arden. Also included as possible buyers are LVMH [Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton], Chanel, Yves Rocher, Limited Brands and Sisley."

The Laura Mercier business is 51 percent owned by The Neiman Marcus Group. The chain also has put its Kate Spade unit up for sale.
— Vicki M. Young and David Moin

Beyoncé Visits Robinsons-May
LOS ANGELES — A crowded department store, plenty of pushing and shoving and a virtual river of tears. What may sound like the quintessential holiday shopping experience was actually an appearance by Beyoncé Knowles at the Robinsons-May Lakewood Center store Sunday afternoon.

Knowles stopped by to promote her second fragrance for Tommy Hilfiger, True Star Gold, resulting in all the commotion, as 3,000 fans tried to catch a glimpse — or, better yet, a photo — of the superstar.

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