This case discusses about the acquisition of Florida-based Elizabeth Arden Inc, (Arden), a cosmetics, skin care, and fragrance major by Revlon Inc. (Revlon) another cosmetic giant. Post-merger, Revlon reported a 21.9% increase in its net sales in 2016. The case highlights the journey of both the businesses and also the tough time they faced prior to the merger. While Revlon had been weighed down by its debt, the sales of celebrity fragrances, a key part of Arden's portfolio, had declined. Arden's losses and increasing debt load left the company with few options to survive as a stand-alone business. Revlon pursued the deal largely in order to achieve scale.
Revlon bought Arden in a $870 mn deal in June 2016. The merger brought together the two cosmetics majors amidst hopes that a combined distribution network and marketing strategy could broaden their appeal. The industry showed a mixed response to the union. While some experts felt the synergy was not very realistic few other opined that it would revive the fortunes of Arden.
The case also discusses Revlon’s plans of restructuring the business. It headed towards shifting to a brand-centric structure aimed at identifying investment areas quicker and reacting faster to consumer needs in the domestic and international markets.
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The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:
Discuss the concept of acquisition in the context of business strategy
Analyze the motives behind acquisitions
Analyze acquisition as a strategy to face competition