LONDON — After more than 250 years under family ownership, Creed fragrances has been sold to BlackRock Long Term Private Capital and Javier Ferrán, the Spanish businessman and chairman of Diageo, WWD has learned.
Olivier Creed, the sixth generation owner of the company, will remain master perfumer while Ferrán will become chairman of the company’s board of directors. Creed’s son, Erwin Creed, will also remain involved in the business.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Creed, a direct descendant of James Henry Creed, who founded the original business during the reign of King George III of England, said given the perfumer’s history, “it was critical that, when the time was right, I was able to choose the best partners who would be able to maintain our heritage as a luxury family business while helping us reach more people around the world.”
He added that Ferrán and BlackRock LTPC were “ideal partners for Creed, given their collaborative approach to working with their companies and their long-term orientation. I also look forward to continuing to work with all our staff, suppliers and distributors, and I know that they will continue to share in our success.”
Creed added that Ferrán’s “leadership experience in the family-owned luxury sector, as well as the financial support of a new majority investor with long-term DNA, will ensure that Imperial can continue to develop and produce the world’s greatest scents.”
Ferrán, who has long worked with niche luxury brands and European family-owned businesses, will assume his responsibilities when the transaction closes.
Before that, he spent more than 20 years at Bacardi, ultimately serving as president and chief executive officer. He was previously as president of Bacardi EMEA, and serves on the board of directors of companies including Coca-Cola European Partners.
The investment is BlackRock LTPC’s first in Europe, and a spokesman said the deal reflects the organization’s “unique proposition to founder-led and family-owned companies that value a longer-term investment horizon.”
Dag Skattum, head of BlackRock’s Europe, Long Term Private Capital team, described Creed as “a truly differentiated and world-class business that we can preserve and enhance for many years to come.”
Michel Dyens & Co. acted as the exclusive financial adviser to Creed.
As reported, men’s fragrances make up about 70 percent of Creed’s business, and the house has been working on increasing its women’s fragrance division to account for 35 to 40 percent.
Industry sources estimate that Creed’s revenues are in excess of $200 million.
LTPC is backed by the investment firm BlackRock Inc., which manages more than $7.43 trillion on behalf of investors worldwide, including $215 billion across alternative asset classes, according to the company.
Creed was established in 1760, first as a tailor, and later a fragrance house. Over the years, the Creed family has produced more than 200 perfumes, including the cult best-selling men’s fragrance Aventus, Viking, Himalaya and Green Irish Tweed.
Based in Paris, with a factory in nearby Fontainebleau, Creed manufactures many of its own essences using a traditional infusion technique that enables Creed to maintain the quality and authenticity of its fragrances.