L’Oréal Acquires Skin Tissue Producer
PARIS — L’Oréal has acquired SkinEthic, a tissue engineering company, based in Nice, France, to further develop its alternative methods for ingredient safety evaluation and research.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The French beauty giant bought SkinEthic through its Epi­skin subsidiary, which develops reconstructed skin.

“The acquisition of SkinEthic allows us to respond to the needs of the entire industry and more specifically in the area of alternative approaches to animal testing — a top priority for L’Oréal,” said Jean-François Grollier, vice president of research and development at the company, in a statement.

Added Martin Rosdy, founder of SkinEthic, also in the statement: “The acquisition provides SkinEthic with a new approach to the market and brings with it the research capability that will benefit all present and future customers.”

SkinEthic produces and distributes human epidermal and epithelial tissues for in vitro tests.

More stringent legislation concerning animal testing has helped encourage cosmetics companies to find new ways to test their products’ safety.

L’Oréal’s SkinEthic buy comes less than a week after news that it is eyeing a purchase of The Body Shop in the U.K.

As reported, incoming chief executive officer of L’Oréal, Jean-Paul Agon, has said acquisitions will play a role in the company’s development.

Hochman to Exit Claiborne
NEW YORK — Liz Claiborne Cosmetics will announce today that Sue Hochman, the company’s vice president of sales, will leave May 1 to form her own consulting company.

“Sue has been a business partner and a dear friend for 28 years,” said Art Spiro, president of Liz Claiborne Cosmetics, in an interview Tuesday. He worked with Hochman at Christian Dior Beauty and then, later, at Claiborne. “She has molded the lives and careers of many people. She will continue to consult for us, so we’re not really saying goodbye.”

Hochman’s successor has not yet been named.

Hochman, a 14-year veteran of Claiborne, began her career in the beauty industry in 1978, when she joined Dior as a marketing assistant. Later vice president of sales, Hochman helped launch Dior’s iconic Poison scent. She left Dior in 1990 to become vice president of sales at Burberry Fragrances, helping to launch Society, and in 1992 joined the Liz Claiborne Cosmetics team as vice president of sales. During Hochman’s tenure, Claiborne has launched a number of successful fragrances, including Curve, Lucky You, Spark and Realities. Prior to joining the beauty industry, Hochman was a teacher in the New York City school system.

This story first appeared in the March 1, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Over the years, Sue has become a trusted colleague, true friend and a vital part of our growth and expansion,” Spiro wrote in a letter to employees, which will be distributed internally today. “Her dedication to the company and compassion for her workforce will truly be missed. When she joined Liz Clai­borne Cosmetics in 1992, Sue became the backbone of our sales division. She has been the heart and soul of our team and always brought an honest and insightful perspective of our brands and bottom line to the table.”
Julie Naughton

Beiersdorf May Shut Sites
BERLIN — In the second phase of the realignment of its supply chain, the Beiersdorf Group announced Tuesday the possible closing of production sites in Kungsbacka, Sweden, and Almere, the Netherlands.

In Sweden, about 200 employees would be affected and 130 in the Netherlands. Beiersdorf did not indicate what product lines are involved in the closures, but noted that the product groups would be transferred to other sites in Europe.

Tuesday’s announcement came following the disclosure earlier this month that Beiers­dorf’s wound care products line — produced in its Hamburg-Hausbruch factory — would be transferred to Argentona, Spain. Employees in Hamburg were offered alternative employment at the company’s skin care production line at Hamburg-Elmsbüttel.

In addition, Beiersdorf plans to shutter warehouses in the Netherlands and Belgium, where there are about 70 workers. The Dutch and Belgian markets will be served from Beiersdorf’s headquarters in Hamburg.

The supply chain reorganization is expected to generate annual savings of 100 million euros, or $119.2 million at current exchange rates. Beiersdorf said it will use these funds to invest in the development of new products and in brand-building.
­— Melissa Drier

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