L’Oréal USA has signed a merger agreement to acquire Pacific Bioscience Laboratories, the manufacturer and marketer of the Clarisonic series of electronic beauty devices, one of the hottest brands on the market.

This story first appeared in the November 10, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“This is a strategic acquisition for L’Oréal,” said Frédéric Rozé, president and chief executive officer of L’Oréal USA. “Devices are rapidly emerging globally as an important new skin care category. Clarisonic is successful and the fastest-growing premium brand in this segment.” While declining to discuss the purchase price or company sales, industry sources estimated that Clarisonic generated retail sales of more than $100 million in 2010.

The deal is subject to the approval of Pacific Bioscience Laboratories’ shareholders and other conditions, and is expected to close in late December. According to L’Oréal USA, it has received key shareholder commitments to vote in favor of the acquisition, including from Rosewood Capital and David Giuliani, ceo and co-founder of Pacific Bioscience Laboratories. Clarisonic’s management team has committed to transition with the company to maintain continuity.

Referring to Clarisonic’s headquarters in Washington State, Rozé added, “We think that together with Pacific Bioscience Laboratories, we will create in Redmond an outstanding center of innovation for L’Oréal.” He noted that after the deal’s closing, the Clarisonic brand will be housed in the portfolio of brands in the Luxury Products Division, under the leadership of president Carol Hamilton.

The brand was launched in 2004, and the company has since spun a distribution network spanning six channels, as diverse as the offices of dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons, spas, prestige retail, e-tail and television shopping, as well as clarisonic.com. Pacific Bioscience Laboratories has 300 employees and recently relocated to its new corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility in Redmond.

“L’Oréal brings powerful marketing, distribution and R&D synergy to the Clarisonic agenda,” said Giuliani. “L’Oréal shares our vision for ingenuity and dedication to quality.”

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