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Groupe Rocher to Acquire Arbonne International

The move is intended to expand the French group’s product portfolio and geographic reach outside of the euro zone.

PARIS — Mergers-and-acquisitions activity in the beauty industry keeps on percolating in 2018 after a robust 2017.

On Friday, Groupe Rocher said it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Arbonne International, the direct-seller of botanically based beauty, personal-care and nutrition products, in order to expand its brand portfolio and meet growth objectives, especially outside of the euro zone.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Groupe Rocher will not only be purchasing from Irvine, Calif.-based Natural Products Group, the Arbonne brand of vegan skin-care, bath and body, and nutrition and makeup products, but also the Nature’s Gate personal-care label.

Arbonne, which has a production site and four integrated distribution areas, is an international business with sales of more than $550 million annually.

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“This acquisition will be a real asset that will enable us to strengthen our positioning in the direct-selling channel, which has seen an upturn over the past few years,” Bris Rocher, chief executive officer of Groupe Rocher, said in a statement. “We also have a heritage of providing employment opportunities — dating back to my grandfather, our founder, Yves Rocher, who cared deeply about providing employment since he started his business. This, combined with our direct-selling know-how, should foster growth and longevity.”

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“We share with Groupe Rocher commitments to pure, botanically based products and sustainability, as well as a long-term business vision that is grounded in family values,” said Kay Zanotti, ceo of Arbonne, adding her company was drawn to Groupe Rocher’s appreciation of the direct-selling model.

“Thanks to recent investment in the digitization of the direct-selling network, Arbonne can help Groupe Rocher enhance the direct-selling model,” the groups said jointly in the statement. “Arbonne has implemented a state-of-the-art IT platform that will facilitate the move from traditional to direct-selling to ‘social-selling.’”

Arbonne was established in Switzerland in 1975 and moved to the U.S. in 1980. Its founder Petter Mørck had set out to create botanically based skin-care, cosmetics and nutrition products for the well-being of consumers and the planet, while giving people the chance of being financially independent by being part of a direct-selling network, the statement said.

Arbonne has about 800 employees and more than 250,000 sellers working in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Poland.

Groupe Rocher is an independent, family-run group with nine brands: Yves Rocher, Petit Bateau, Stanhome, Dr. Pierre Ricaud, Daniel Jouvance, Kiotis, ID Parfums, Flormar and Sabon. The company’s annual sales reached more than two billion euros in 2017.

The group employs more than 17,000 people and has created over 350,000 indirect jobs. Groupe Rocher sells products via remote sales, including correspondence, telephone and Internet; in-store, with more than 6,000 locations globally, and direct sales.

The Arbonne buy should bump Groupe Rocher up a couple of notches in the worldwide ranking of beauty manufacturers. According to the WWD Beauty Inc Top 100 list for 2016, Groupe Rocher placed 23rd, with estimated sales of 1.67 billion euros. Natural Products Group, meanwhile, came in 50th, with estimated sales of $544 million.