By  on October 5, 2006

PARIS — Inter Parfums SA has a new gem in its portfolio.

The firm has signed a 12-year worldwide beauty licensing deal with fine jewelry brand Van Cleef & Arpels to take over from YSL Beauté the Van Cleef & Arpels license.

Van Cleef & Arpels and YSL Beauté have agreed to end their licensing contract in January 2007, the companies said in a statement Wednesday. The deal was originally due to expire at the end of 2008.

"[We were attracted to Van Cleef because of] the quality of the brand, and the fact that we have no jewelry brand in our portfolio," Philippe Benacin, Inter Parfum's chief executive officer, said in an interview Wednesday, adding Van Cleef's profile has risen in recent years. "It's different from what it was 10 years ago, it has greater awareness among consumers, it has developed its store network and so the brand is more available."

Inter Parfums SA, the Paris-based subsidiary of Inter Par­fums Inc., and Gucci Group-owned YSL Beauté have agreed on handover terms regarding retail distribution and advertising budgets, meant to ensure a smooth transition, the companies said in the statement. As part of the deal, Inter Parfums will take on YSL Beauté's remaining Van Cleef stock and YSL will continue packaging Van Cleef products for two years.

"This agreement is part of YSL Beauté's new strategy, which aims to concentrate its dealings and resources on its priority brands, among which is the Boucheron jewelry house, owned by Gucci Group," said YSL Beauté's president and managing director, Chantal Roos, in the statement. She added the agreement also optimizes YSL Beauté's industrial capacities.

"In 1976, with First, Van Cleef & Arpels launched the first jewelry house fragrance, in keeping with the house's tradition of audacity," said Stanislas de Quercize, president of Van Cleef & Arpels, in the statement. "It was followed by a long line of fragrances developed with YSL Beauté. In 2006, this agreement with Inter Parfums opens the door to other creative, and always audacious, developments."

Benacin said Inter Parfums plans to grow Van Cleef & Arpels' fragrance business to between 25 million euros and 30 million euros, or $32 million and $38 million at current exchange, by 2009, from an estimated 14 million euros to 15 million euros, or $18 million to $19 million, today.

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