Firmenich has reached a deal to acquire Agilex Fragrances, a scented products manufacturer, from middle-market private equity firm MidOcean Partners.

Agilex designs “high-quality” fragrances used in a broad range of services, including: air care, personal care, home care, and cologne and perfume. Under the ownership of MidOcean, Agilex completed four add-on acquisitions and “significantly reinvested in the business.” The target operates from its headquarters in Piscataway, New Jersey and opened a new production facility in Somerset County, New Jersey earlier in 2017.

Firmenich is a privately-owned distributor of fragrances and flavors used for a variety of applications. The buyer’s products are used in the making of perfumes, sweets goods, carbonated soft drinks, juices, nectars, soups, and snacks. Some of the buyer’s products are used in popular fragrances such as Giorgio Armani’s Aqua Di Gio, Hugo Boss’ Boss Bottled, Ralph Lauren’s Romance and Lolita Lempicka. Firmenich was founded in 1895 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Established in 2003, MidOcean is a New York-based middle-market PE firm that focuses on the consumer, business services and industrial sectors. MidOcean first backed Agilex in December 2012. Some of the firm's previous investments include: maker of skincare moisturizer Image Skincare, luggage company Travelpro Group, and kids play set manufacturer KidKraft. MidOcean provides a minimum of $25 million in equity in its deals.

Other deals for cologne and fragrance businesses include: Proctor & Gamble Co.’s (NYSE: PG) sell of the Christina Aguilera perfume business to Elizabeth Arden Inc. (Nasdaq: RDEN); cosmetics company Coty Inc.’s buying the personal care business from Hypermarcas SA; perfume and cosmetics distributor Interparfums acquiring luxury brand company Rochas to take a leap into fashion; PE-backed High Ridge Brands Co. purchasing Continental Fragrances Ltd; and Estée Lauder Cos.’s (NYSE: EL) buying luxury perfume group Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle for an undisclosed amount.

The Agilex deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017. Houlihan Lokey Inc. (NYSE: HLI) is acting as financial adviser to MidOcean Partners, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal adviser.

Giorgio Armani

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