In the glamorous world of high-end fragrances, Kering Beauté has made a groundbreaking move, announcing its acquisition of Creed, a distinguished niche fragrance brand.
Kering, the French luxury giant, has purchased Creed in entirety from BlackRock Long Term Private Capital Europe and the brand’s incumbent chairman, Javier Ferrán. While the exact financial specifics of the all-cash transaction remain confidential, the industry buzz estimates the deal at a staggering $1.5 billion.
As the first niche fragrance brand under Kering’s umbrella, Creed brings with it a legacy spanning back to 1760. It was originally established by James Henry Creed in the reign of King George III of England, initially as a tailoring establishment before morphing into a perfumery. Today, Creed boasts a portfolio of over 200 perfumes, including the cult-favorite men’s fragrance Aventus Cologne, Viking, Himalaya and Green Irish Tweed.
“We are confident that this landmark acquisition will facilitate and amplify our development in fragrance. This is a milestone in the development of Kering Beauté, as we believe more than ever in the strong potential of our brands in beauty“, said Jean-François Palus, group managing director of Kering.
Kering Beauté’s latest acquisition aligns with its ambition to develop an in-house beauty division, a strategic move that saw Raffaella Cornaggia appointed as CEO of Kering Beauté earlier this year. It signals Kering’s desire to build and consolidate their expertise in beauty, leveraging synergies across brands including Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Pomellato and Qeelin.
“The acquisition of Creed represents Kering Beauté’s first strategic initiative, and demonstrates our commitment to developing a strong position in the luxury beauty segment“, said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive officer of Kering.
In an atmosphere tinged with anticipation, Cornaggia shed light on the motivations behind the acquisition. “Creed holds a unique positioning in the high-end perfume market. This operation offers evident fundamentals and mutual benefits in terms of expertise, distribution network, and geographical presence“, she shared. A clear air of excitement was palpable in her words as she mentioned Sarah Rotheram, Creed’s CEO, and the dedicated team she’ll be collaborating with to foster Creed’s global success.
This resonated with André Bourbonnais, the International Director of BlackRock’s Long Term Private Capital fund, who echoed the sentiment of collective growth, “Our collaboration helped us continue to grow this leading global business by expanding its geographical reach, developing new products, and deploying a targeted marketing strategy“.
Bourbonnais went on to reflect on the joy and honor of being associated with the Creed family and Javier Ferrán, Creed’s Executive Chairman and Operational Partner of BlackRock LTPC. His words revealed a sense of fulfillment in identifying and creating value for Creed, emblematic of BlackRock LTPC’s strategy of investing in high-quality companies and actively collaborating with their management teams.
On the same note, Dag Skattum, Director for Europe of BlackRock’s Long Term Private Capital fund, expressed his conviction in Kering being the perfect home for this unique historical brand, “It has been a privilege to rely on the legacy of the Creed family and to partner with such a dedicated and talented team, led by Sarah Rotheram, to strengthen Creed’s iconic position. We are convinced that Kering is the perfect setting for this unique historical brand, and that Creed will continue to grow under its impetus“.
While the integration is underway, Kering Beauté is confident of preserving and enhancing the rich heritage of Creed. The brand’s potential will be further unlocked across all markets, channels, and categories, with a special emphasis on expansion in China, travel retail and broadening the feminine fragrance portfolio, body, and home categories.
Creed, with its unique and tailored experiences across 36 stores and approximately 1,400 points of sale, has been displaying double-digit growth rates over the past few years, demonstrating remarkable profitability with exceptionally high Ebitda margins. The brand, whose revenues exceeded 250 million euros for the fiscal year ended March 31st, 2023, has managed to maintain the superb quality of its products and image, making it a fitting addition to Kering’s portfolio.