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2 May

Can Revlon Regain Relevance because it Exits Bankruptcy? –

It’s official — Revlon is out of bankruptcy, and Ronald Perelman is out of Revlon.

“I’m sure there will likely be loads of changes. Ronald not holds the keys,” said one industry source, speculating about Revlon’s post-bankruptcy life.

Perelman had helmed Revlon for the reason that ’80s as majority owner and chairman, wielding many years of control over a once-powerful beauty brand that for years urged women to “be unforgettable.”

Now, Revlon’s got to take that mission to heart because it emerges right into a beauty market chock-a-block with celebrity and influencer brands, in addition to dominant conglomerates, including L’Oréal.

The business emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after just below a yr Tuesday, with a recent owner, recent board and billions less in debt. That combination could work, but market sources stress the business must concentrate on making revolutionary products for its consumers.

Changes are already afoot. As a substitute of Perelman, Revlon’s lenders, including affiliates of Glendon Capital Management, King Street Capital Management, Angelo Gordon & Co., Antara Capital, Nut Tree Capital Management, Oak Hill Advisors and Cyrus Capital Partners, now collectively own greater than 80 percent of Revlon’s reorganized equity. On behalf of the group, Noah Charney, managing director at King Street Capital Management, said: “We’re proud to function stewards of this storied American business and support the corporate because it embarks on its path to sustainable, profitable growth.”

Without the crippling pressure of sky-high repayments on its $3.7 billion debt due to a bankruptcy judge-approved cope with lenders which reduced the hefty bill and led to Perelman’s exit, Revlon will once more get a probability to achieve back some market share — but it’s going to must work fast to make an impact.

“We’ll have to offer it a yr plus to see what happens, I might say,” said Jonathan Pasternak, a partner within the bankruptcy law practice at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. “The excellent news is that the debt that continues to be for the corporate is all at manageable rates. There’s uncertainty, but hope. If it doesn’t work out then the corporate will likely be sold.”

The private company, called Revlon Group Holdings LLC, now has debt of around $1.5 billion.

Debra Perelman

Courtesy Image.

For it to claw back market share, big changes might want to occur, multiple sources told WWD. While there have been a couple of raised eyebrows in the sweetness industry that Debra Perelman, Ronald Perelman’s daughter, stays president and chief executive officer, some change arrived to Revlon Monday when a recent board was unveiled. WWD had previously reported that it was gearing as much as unveil a recent chair.

After approaching multiple executives in each the beauty and apparel sectors, Revlon announced Elizabeth A. Smith as executive chair Monday. Smith is the former executive chairman and CEO of restaurant chain operator Bloomin’ Brands Inc., former chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and former president of Avon Products. She also has a 14-year stint at Kraft Foods under her belt.

Joining her as recent members of the board are Martin Brok, former global president and chief executive officer of Sephora, who was out and in of that job in lower than two years; Timothy McLevish, former chief financial officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., Kraft Foods Group Inc. and Ingersoll-Rand Corporation; Hans Melotte, former president of Starbucks’ global channel development and former chief procurement officer at Johnson & Johnson; and Paul Pressler, current chairman of the board of directors of eBay, former chief executive officer of Gap and former chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

It’s a bunch Debra Perelman said, in an announcement, is “for the advantage of all our stakeholders” and “a testament to the strength of our brands and future growth potential of the corporate.”

“Upon emergence, we can have the capital structure and financial resources vital to take a position for the long run, serve our loyal customers with high-quality beauty products they know and love and introduce our beloved brands to the following generation of Revlon consumers around the globe,” Perelman continued.

Smith said she was “confident that today’s milestone is barely the start of Revlon’s shiny future. While honoring the corporate’s legacy, I look ahead to working alongside the management team and my director colleagues to usher in a recent era, execute against the numerous opportunities ahead and deliver enduring value to all Revlon’s stakeholders.”

Revlon’s recent board has several corporate heavy-hitters — but they don’t have an awesome amount of experience in the sweetness trenches.

Smith was president of Avon for five years and is understood for her turnaround capabilities, while Brok briefly helmed Sephora.

One industry source questioned the quantity of beauty brand-building acumen, let alone rebuilding experience, Revlon’s recent board members have.

WWD also understands that the corporate has struggled to poach talent from its competitors because it looks to construct out its executive team post-bankruptcy and knows of 1 seasoned beauty executive who turned down the chief chair role.

Those varieties of beauty-specific executives are paramount to Revlon’s rebuilding mission, in line with industry consultant Allan Mottus, whose book, “Fashion Paranoia: Down & Up Beauty’s Rabbit Hole,” discusses Revlon’s history. “Everybody thinks they know quite a bit about beauty until they get there,” Mottus said.

But executives at post-bankruptcy Revlon may find themselves with easier decision-making processes now that Ronald Perelman is out, Mottus said.

Barbra Streisand, Ronald Perelman and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Patrick McMullan/PatrickMcMullan.com

“One person said to me coping with Ron Perelman is like having tooth work done day by day so he was no real help there,” he said, noting that Revlon has long had a revolving door of CEOs. Before Debra Perelman, who joined in 2018, there was Fabian Garcia, now president of Unilever personal care, who lasted two years; before that there was Lorenzo Delpani who lasted around three years, and before that, there was Alan Ennis who lasted roughly 4 years.

Ron Perelman had been the bulk owner of Revlon for the reason that mid-’80s, gaining control via a hostile takeover through his company MacAndrews & Forbes. He took Revlon to recent heights within the ’80s and ’90s, when he used the brand to catapult himself into the worlds of society, fashion and Hollywood by tapping such faces as Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Jerry Hall and more. At one point, Revlon even sponsored the Oscars. But in 2020, the great times got here to a halt because the COVID-19 pandemic significantly worsened the corporate’s issues and he revealed that he’d been selling off assets, including a tony Hamptons abode, two jets, a Miró and a Matisse. 

While Revlon has struggled under a hefty pile of debt lately, it still has a large business. The corporate placed twenty third in Beauty Inc.’s Top 100 biggest beauty manufacturers, clocking in around $2 billion in sales in 2022. The Revlon brand’s net sales were $544.9 million within the nine months ended Sept. 30, up 4.4 percent year-over-year, while Elizabeth Arden net sales were $347.7 million, down 3.3 percent. Portfolio net sales were down 12.6 percent at $268.4 million, and fragrance net sales were 16.4 percent lower at $229.6 million.

Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE Anti-Aging Daily Serum 2.0 

Courtesy of Elizabeth Arden

“They still have some incredible brands like Elizabeth Arden and albeit their mental property/brands are probably price quite a bit,” said Pasternak. “The brands will survive. And the corporate’s been given an actual probability to reverse all their past failures, which were mostly financial related. They only had an excessive amount of debt, COVID[-19] screwed them up on many levels. Their supply chain was affected.”

Now, as the corporate gears as much as tackle its hefty post-bankruptcy to-do list, R&D must be at the highest, said Andrew Csicsila, North America leader of the buyer products practice at Alix Partners, to lure back customers who switched allegiances to brands like Kylie Cosmetics, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty and more recently E.l.f., which is in the midst of a resurgence, buoyed by its social media strategy and product innovation. The latter ended last yr with a bang, ringing in its sixteenth consecutive quarter of sales growth and enabling it to once more raise its full-year outlook.

Revlon’s lack of innovation is what most experts have pinpointed as its biggest roadblock, leading it to lose shelf space in major chains.

“Revlon still has a really powerful brand, but there’s quite a lot of power players within the industry so Revlon can have to work out where they’re going to place their dollars,” Csicsila said. “Now that they’ve more money, they’ve a bit of bit more freedom and more confidence available in the market to permit them to barter with their suppliers and vendors and customers in order that’s ultimately going to assist them out.”

He stressed, though, that once they exit to recent markets and recent channels that they don’t just flood it with any product that they’ve. “They must be very targeted with recent [stock keeping units] and products that they introduce and that ties back to R&D …innovation is basically key on this market because there are a ton of latest entrants every day, so there’s quite a lot of pressure.”

What precisely the 91-year-old company plans to churn out to compete stays to be seen. But whatever it does, it must be unforgettable.

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