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BAUSCH & LOMB ENTERS SKIN CARE MARKET WITH PURCHASE OF CUREL, SOFT SENSE

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

BAUSCH & LOMB ENTERS SKIN CARE MARKET WITH PURCHASE OF CUREL, SOFT SENSE lotion brands from S. C. Johnson, the firm reported May 19. Curel and Soft Sense lotions had combined 1992 sales of $ 45 mil. Slated for completion by the end of June, the acquisition "will not have a material impact on the company's results for 1993," Bausch & Lomb said. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. S. C. Johnson is retaining Soft Sense shaving gel and said that it will probably rename the product. The firm is continuing to seek a buyer for its Halsa and Agree hair care and Fisher-Price children's toiletries brands. Bausch & Lomb stated that "the further development of [the Curel and Soft Sense lines] will be supported by the company's research and development expertise in formulations used to clean, disinfect or lubricate sensitive tissue, as well as by its extensive distribution organization serving drug, food and mass merchandise channels of trade." According to the firm, Curel, the number three therapeutic hand and body moisturizer line behind Warner-Lambert's Lubriderm and Beiersdorf's Nivea, is "one of the fastest growing participants in that category." Soft Sense ranks in the top five cosmetic lotion brands, the company said. Bausch & Lomb has been actively looking to leverage its contact lens solutions business into other OTC and health and beauty aid areas in recent years. For example, the firm was one of the first to offer an alcohol-free mouthwash, Clear Choice, which was launched in October 1992. The company also has been looking for suitable skin care brands since it identified skin care as an area for growth in the 1980s. An attempt to break into the segment by purchasing an unspecified skin care line from Sterling Winthrop fell through in January. Speculation surrounding the negotiations focused on the pHisoHex Rx and pHisoDerm OTC skin cleansers. Bausch & Lomb indicated that it may pursue other acquisitions or develop products in-house to build its new skin care business. Bausch & Lomb recently repackaged its eye care product offerings beginning with Moisture Drops. Moisture Drops was promoted in a May 2 free-standing insert offering a coupon for a free trial-size dropper or $ 1 off a larger-size dropper. The firm's Allergy Drops, Eye Wash, Duolube and Dry Eye Therapy also will be reintroduced in color-coded packaging intended to highlight the Bausch & Lomb brand name, the company said. The entire Bausch & Lomb repackaged eye care line will be promoted in a June FSI, as well as in print ads in Modern Maturity and Family Circle. The eye care brands also will be the subject of identification spots during TV game shows. Other personal health care products marketed by the firm include the Interplak home plaque removal device.
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