PZ Cussons Buys St. Tropez From LDC Buyout Firm

PZ Cussons Plc said today it bought sunless tanning producer St. Tropez Holdings Ltd. from U.K. private equity group LDC to link its marketing to PZ’s Sanctuary spa skin-care brand.

Manchester, England-based PZ said it expects the purchase, for 62.5 million pounds ($98.9 million) in cash, to enhance earnings in its current fiscal year. LDC, a unit of Lloyds Banking Group Plc, acquired St. Tropez in 2006.

PZ, maker of Imperial Leather soap, said today it wants to expand St. Tropez, which gets 80 percent of its sales in the U.K., both at home and in Australia and the U.S. It will combine its promotion with both Sanctuary and Charles Worthington professional hair-care products, the company 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,” PZ Chief Executive Alex Kanellis said in the statement.

PZ might have liked to have purchased Albert Culver Co.’s Simple skin-care brand, wrote Clive Black and Darren Shirley, analysts for Shore Capital who have a “buy” recommendation on PZ. Unilever NV agreed to buy Albert Culver today for $3.7 billion.

“We had expected PZ Cussons’ next acquisition to be more Asia-focused than the U.K., so the purchase is a surprise to our minds,” Black and Shirley wrote in a note to investors.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Altaner in London at daltaner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge in London at Ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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