PZ Cussons buys St Tropez from LDC

Private equity group LDC has sold St Tropez Holdings Limited to PZ Cussons Plc, a consumer products group in Europe, Asia and Africa, for 62.5 million pounds ($96.9 million) in cash (on a cash and debt free basis). St Tropez is a sunless tanning product range and earnings for the year ending July 2010 (before depreciation, amortization, interest and tax) were 7.4 million pounds ($11.4 million)

PRESS RELEASE

PZ Cussons Plc, a leading consumer products group in Europe, Asia and Africa, announces the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of St Tropez Holdings Limited (“St Tropez”) from UK private equity group LDC for a consideration of GBP62.5m in cash (on a cash and debt free basis).

St Tropez is the UK’s leading sunless tanning product range consisting of lotions, mousses, sprays and other products serving consumers who wish to achieve a safe, natural looking tan without the dangers of sun bathing or sun beds.

Over 80% of St Tropez’s sales are within the UK with Australia and the US also growing markets for the brand. Distribution in the UK is mainly into Boots, Superdrug, Debenhams, Sainsbury’s, House of Fraser and John Lewis, as well as through major salons.

St Tropez’s retail product range comprises approximately 30 products organized across three core categories (Self Tan, Gradual Tan and Wash Off) and complemented by tan optimising products. All manufacturing is outsourced to third parties.

Revenue and earnings before depreciation, amortisation, interest and tax for the year ended 31 July 2010 were GBP20.7m and GBP7.4m respectively. As at 31 July 2010, St Tropez Holdings Limited had gross assets of GBP48.1m, including GBP42.1m of goodwill.

The business is being acquired on a cash and debt free basis from cash and existing facilities, and is expected to be earnings enhancing in the current financial year.

Alex Kanellis, Chief Executive of PZ Cussons Plc, said:
“The acquisition of the St Tropez brand represents an excellent strategic opportunity for PZ Cussons and further strengthens our portfolio of ‘masstige’ brands which includes The Sanctuary and Charles Worthington. We see good growth opportunities, both in the UK and overseas, particularly by linking the strategy to that of The Sanctuary spa brand.

Following this acquisition our balance sheet remains strong giving us flexibility for further investment opportunities as they arise.”

Michelle Feeney, Chief Executive of St Tropez, said:

“I am thrilled that St Tropez is going into such a great home. PZ Cussons offers a synergistic opportunity for growth particularly in conjunction with The Sanctuary and will add the scaleability that the brand needs to become a truly international player.”