Kering buys luxury fragrance house Creed for new beauty division

By Sarah Parsons | Published: 27-Jun-2023

The deal is the first acquisition for Kering Beauté, the fashion house owner's newly formed cosmetics business

Kering, the owner of Gucci and Balenciaga, has acquired luxury perfume house Creed for its newly formed beauty division

The luxury fashion group purchased the high end fragrance label from investment firm Blackrock. 

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed and the all-cash transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023. 

Kering launched the Kering Beauté arm in February to boost its existing portfolio and overall presence in the cosmetics category. 

The purchase of Creed is Kering Beauté's first brand acquisition. 

Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault said: “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."

Founded in 1760 by James Henry Creed, the namesake company started as a tailor before transitioning to fragrance and supplying Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie. 

Best known for its Aventus flanker, in recent years it was one of the largest global independent players in the high end fragrance market. 

Creed has 36 branded stores and is available in 1,400 doors worldwide.

In recent years, Creed has delivered double-digit growth and remarkable profitability with very high EBITDA margins, said a statement from Kering. 

It achieved this by "never compromising on either product quality or brand equity". 

For the full year ended March 31, 2023, Creed generated revenue of more than €250m.

Kering Beauté plans to drive Creed's growth internationally, expand its retail channels and launch into new categories. 

China and Travel Retail were highlighted as key opportunities, along with female marketed fragrances, body and home categories.

"Creed has a unique positioning in the fragrance market," said Raffaella Cornaggia, CEO of Kering Beauté.

"We see a very compelling rationale and mutual strategic benefits in terms of expertise, network, and geographical footprint."

Creed's current chief executive Sarah Rotheram, formerly of Penhaligon's and Miller Harris, will remain with the brand. 

"We look forward to working with CEO Sarah Rotheram and her passionate team to continue to drive Creed’s success worldwide,” added Cornaggia. 

Kering's expansion into beauty marks a shift in strategy for legacy fashion players who see the potential in cosmetics. 

Following the announcement of Kering Beauté, LVMH announced a leadership reshuffle of its beauty division. 


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