PZ Cussons acquires sunless tanning brand

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sun tanning

PZ Cussons has announced the acquisition of sunless tanning brand St Tropez from the UK private equity group LDC, for £62.5m (€72.8m), in a push to enhance its ‘masstige’ brands.

The consumer product group, who operate in Europe, Asia and Africa, has acquired St Tropez Holdings on a cash and debt free basis from cash and existing facilities, and is expecting to enhance earnings of the sunless tanning brand in the current financial year.

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“The acquisition of the St Tropez brand represents an excellent strategic opportunity for PZ Cussons and further strengthens our portfolio of ‘masstige’ brands,”​ said Alex Kanellis, chief executive of PZ Cussons.

“We see good growth opportunities, both in the UK and overseas. Following this acquisition our balance sheet remains strong giving us flexibility for further investment opportunities as they arise,”​ Kanellis continued.

Michelle Feeney, chief executive of St Tropez said “PZ Cussons offers a synergistic opportunity for growth and will add the scaleability that the brand needs to become a truly international player.”

Revenue and earnings for the UK based self tanning brand before depreciation, amortisation, interest and tax for the year ended 31 July 2010 were £20.7m and £7.4m respectively. As at 31 July, St Tropez Holdings had gross assets of £48.1m, including £42.1m of goodwill.

Chance to expand the brand globally

St Tropez is one the UK’s leading sunless tanning product ranges consisting of lotions, mousses, sprays.

Over 80 per cent of St Tropez’s current sales are within the UK, with Australia and the US also growing markets for the brand.

The retail product range comprises almost 30 products in three core categories: self tan, gradual tan and wash off.

Sunless tanning linked to sun safety

A recent study carried out by scientists at the American Cancer Society found that self tanning products commonly used by teenagers could encourage sun safety behaviour.

The study, which appeared in the September issue of the Archives of Dermatology, evaluated the behaviour of 1,600 adolescents age 11 to 18 to pinpoint their use of self tanning products and the impact this had on their sun bathing habits.

Of the individuals surveyed, 10.8 per cent reported using sunless tanning products in the past year, the vast majority of whom were towards the older end of the age spectrum and female.

The survey findings reportedly underlined the fact that the use of these self-tanning products was directly correlated with a tendency to use sun beds or else having previously had bad sunburn from UV exposure.

The report concluded that: “adolescents, therefore, must be educated about these products and the importance of avoiding indoor tanning and practicing sun-protective behaviour”.

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