Ending weeks of speculation, Coty Inc. inked a deal to acquire salon nail care specialist OPI Products Inc.

This story first appeared in the November 30, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The price tag is said to have come in at under $1 billion, and the purchase will be funded by the company’s cash, input from its investors and debt.

Coty has been shelling out big money to expand its footprint and in recent weeks has struck deals to acquire skin care brand Philosophy from private equity firm The Carlyle Group and Dr. Scheller Cosmetics from Russian company Kalina.

Renato Semerari, president of Coty Beauty, told WWD that OPI, which is already in 70 markets, “has the potential to have a very strong global brand.” He said the salon channel would remain the “backbone of the brand,” although there are also opportunities to develop its retail presence.

And it looks as though Coty’s acquisition tear will continue. “There might be something else to come,” Semerari said, hinting a deal with a regional focus could close in a matter of days.

George Schaeffer, president and chief executive officer of OPI, which he founded in 1981, will remain with the company. OPI emphatically denied that it was for sale in August when WWD first reported on the auction by investment bank Lazard.

The deal is still subject to regulatory approvals