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Cussons embraces footballers’ wives with St Tropez fake tan buy

It’s all happening in the buoyant personal care market and British company PZ Cussons, which makes Imperial Leather ands Carex soaps, is paying £62.5m to Lloyds Development Capital for self-tanning brand St Tropez, beloved of Victoria Beckham.

The move follows hard on the heels of Unilever’s rather larger acquisition of Alberto Culver for $3.7bn yesterday.

But St Tropez looks like a clever acquisition by Cussons, St Tropez CEO Michelle Feeney reckons the brand has the potential to reach $1bn sales and it has recently started to make inroads into the US.

Despite its ‘footballers’ wives’ image St Tropez scores on two fronts, cosmetic obviously but also health as most of the those people keen to get a tan are also fearful of skin cancer from outside tanning and whatever they think sunbeds do to you.

Cussons will also be able to use St Tropez’s nascent distribution network for its brands in the US and take St Tropez into African and Asian markets.

As for Mrs Beckham, who got the brand into the tabloids when she was spotted with some of it in her bag a few years ago, she’s moved upmarket since then, appearing to succeed as a bona fide fashion designer.

But she would surely listen to a decent offer from Cussons to front a big new ad campaign.

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