Just a few hours after Coty announced it had sold it back to Lacoste by mutual agreement for an undisclosed sum, Lacoste said it had signed a 15-year worldwide licensing agreement with Interparfums SA.
Lacoste president Thierry Guibert said, “We are very appreciative of Coty’s support throughout our partnership. With Coty, Lacoste has taken an important step in the development of its fragrance lines. It is now time for the brand to renew its approach to continue its growth, in a market where Lacoste still has great potential.”
WWD understands Lacoste has a big footprint in Russia, an area that Coty has divested from due to its invasion of Ukraine.
“For both Coty and Lacoste, the exit by end of CY23 represents our respective yet mutually beneficial priorities. This sale advances Coty’s strategic objectives, by enabling Coty to further focus on our largest fragrance licenses, while accelerating our deleveraging agenda through the sales proceeds,” said Sue Y. Nabi, CEO of Coty, which had managed Lacoste’s fragrances for the past six years.
Under the new deal that covers all perfumes and cosmetic lines, Interparfums will be tasked with the creation, development, production and marketing of Lacoste products both in selective distribution and the French sports brand’s retail network.
The deal will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, after wrapping up Lacoste’s existing relationship with Coty, which will end in 2023, while the launch of a new Lacoste perfume line is slated for 2024.
“Interparfums’ proven know-how and creativity will be key assets to continue the development of our fragrance category, which plays a significant role in Lacoste’s reputation,” Guibert said in a statement, noting the continued potential of the fragrance category for the sports lifestyle label and “an approach that is increasingly in line with the brand’s strong identity codes.”
Philippe Benacin, chief executive officer of Interparfums SA, described Lacoste as “an emblematic brand in the world of fashion and sport with a very high level of awareness and desirability throughout the world,” lauding the “clear and precise vision of the brand’s great development potential” of Lacoste’s leadership team.
Interparfums SA is the French subsidiary of Interparfums Inc., which holds the exclusive worldwide licenses to develop and distribute fragrances for a number of high-end brands, including Boucheron, Coach, Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld, Kate Spade, Moncler, Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels. It also owns Lanvin fragrances and the Rochas brand.
At the same time as announcing the sale of the Lacoste license, Coty has renewed its license with Hugo Boss. The partnership, which began in 2016 and has now been extended beyond 2035, includes all Boss and Hugo fragrances for men and women.
Nabi said the extension “is in line with Coty’s strategic objective to focus on key brands which can become global powerhouses, while driving a balanced growth agenda across our fragrance portfolio.” Coty has seen financial success from large fragrance lines including Gucci and Marc Jacobs.
Following the Hugo Boss license renewal, which includes no material changes in licensing terms, Coty has no sizable license up for renewal in the next six years. The average remaining duration of Coty’s top six licenses — which together account for more than 80 percent of Coty’s prestige fragrance business — is now approximately 10 years, the company said.
Earlier this year, Nabi told WWD that while the lipstick effect is mentioned often, she believes it’s now all about the fragrance effect, and that Coty’s prestige fragrances having been flying off the shelves despite recession fears and sky-high inflation.
More recently, Coty’s net revenues came in at about $1.4 billion in the first quarter ended Sept. 30. This was up 1 percent from a year earlier and a touch above analysts’ forecasts of $1.37 billion, according to a Factset poll.