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Disperse Group eyes further cosmetics growth

08-Jun-2005

UK-based technologies and beauty care group Disperse has confirmed plans to expand its capabilities in the branded cosmetics and personal care business with the proposed acquisition of beauty care retailer and distributor Woods of Windsor, reports Simon Pitman.

The deal is not expected to be finalised until 20th June and is said to be valued at £4.6 million.

"Disperse was formally a technologies driven bedrock. However, our development work in the consumer field has led us to work with significant cosmetic players such as Clinique, Estee Lauder and Virgin, which has helped us to develop specific capabilities in this field," Disperse spokesperson Tony Williams told CosmeticsDesign.com-Europe.

 

"Our successful acquisition of the Elizabeth French business and planned acquisition of Woods of Windsor means that we are now on a path towards expanding our presence in this sector. This means that we definitely intend to pursue further acquisitions of a similar nature," he added.

 

Woods of Windsor began as a pharmacy business back in 1770 and has since been developed into a major UK and global supplier of fragrance and beauty treatments. Currently the company supplies a range of products including floral-based fragrances, room fragrances and men's grooming products, all of which are supplied to up-market retailers world-wide.

 

Last week Disperse announced that it had successfully turned around its year-on-year financial results, swinging a small loss into a profit following the purchase of the UK-based Elizabeth French beauty distribution and import business.

 

Disperse has been encouraged by its first foray into the beauty care business, which helped turned a loss of £74,000 into a £718,000 profit, following the acquisition of Elizabeth French in July 2004.

 

Until last year's acquisition the company had been involved in the research, development and commercialization dispersion technologies for the consumer industry, oral drug delivery and dermatological treatments for the pharmaceutical industry, together with the development of printing and packaging technologies and research into new fuel alternatives.

 

The company's £9 million acquisition of Elizabeth French and its subsequent move into the beauty care sector may have surprised many, but the company was quick to point out a number of synergies that already existed within the beauty care sector when it made the move.

 

Those synergies include existing formulation capabilities, proven differentiated product capabilities, a presence in the consumer sector that has led to brand-building skills together with an existing business infrastructure in the US that could lead to future market expansion.

 

With Disperse's financial turn-around last year providing increased stability and its second acquisition in the premium beauty care field now well under way, further expansion in this field now seems inevitable.

 

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