Ronald Perelman–owned cosmetics giant Revlon, a longtime client of late Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom name partner Joseph Flom, has once again turned to the firm for counsel on its $660 million purchase of The Colomer Group from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.
The all-cash deal, announced Monday, will see New York–based Revlon reenter the global salon business and purchase several leading beauty products brands by reacquiring the Spanish company it sold 13 years ago for $325 million to CVC and the family of founder Carlos Colomer.
Skadden M&A partners Franklin Gittes, Alan Myers, and Peter Serating, antitrust partners Neal Stoll and Frederic Depoortere, tax partner Stuart Finkelstein, employee benefits partner Neil Leff, antitrust counsel Kenneth Schwartz, and M&A counsel Robin Marchant are leading a cross-border team from the firm advising Revlon on the acquisition, which will be financed by funds underwritten by Citigroup Global Markets.
Gittes and Myers did not respond to requests for comment about Skadden's role on the deal by the time of this story. But the firm's Revlon work extends back to the buyout boom of the mid-1980s. Flom’s role advising Perelman on his ultimately successful $2.7 billion acquisition of Revlon in 1985 helped transform Skadden into a go-to firm for transactional work. The hostile takeover battle for Revlon was immortalized in magazine stories, M&A textbooks, and best sellers.
Former Skadden partner Donald Drapkin went on to become vice-chairman of Revlon and a longtime associate of Perelman, before the two had a falling-out after Drapkin left Perelman’s holding company MacAndrews & Forbes to join Lazard in 2007. (Perelman, represented by Kobre & Kim, later lost a federal court fight with Drapkin and his lawyers from Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello, before the two settled their differences last year.)
Skadden’s work for Revlon has continued beyond the corporate realm.
In June, Revlon agreed to an $850,000 settlement with the SEC after the regulator accused the company and Perelman of violating securities laws and misleading shareholders in an aborted recession-driven attempt in 2009 to take Revlon private via a transaction with MacAndrews & Forbes. Skadden and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz represented Revlon on the agreement with the SEC, according to a report at the time by sibling publication The Litigation Daily.
Lauren Goldberg serves as Revlon’s general counsel. Revlon’s former general counsel Robert Kretzman currently serves as a member of the company’s board of directors, along with ex-MacAndrews & Forbes general counsel Barry Schwartz, former Steptoe & Johnson lawyer Debra Lee, and Viet Dinh, a founding partner of Washington, D.C.–based conservative legal bastion Bancroft.
Perelman has also been a longtime client of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, whose late name partner Simon Rifkind was once a director at Revlon. Last month Harland Clarke Holdings, a portfolio company of MacAndrews & Forbes, tapped Paul Weiss for counsel on its $1.2 billion buy of Canadian financial services provider Davis + Henderson, according to our previous reports.
As for Colomer, the Barcelona-based portfolio company of CVC poised to return to the Revlon umbrella, it was first put up for sale two years ago, according to news reports. Colomer manufactures and sells beauty products—such as the Revlon Professional and Llongueras hair care brands and Natural Honey body lotions—to salons and other businesses.
Richard Perris, CVC’s managing director of legal affairs, did not immediately respond to a request for the names of any attorneys advising the London-based private equity firm on its sale of Colomer. A spokeswoman for CVC, which has been busy on the transactional front in recent months, also did not return a request for comment on the matter.
In June, Dutch firm Loyens & Loeff advised CVC and private equity firm KKR on their $1 billion sale of Dutch waste management company AVR to a consortium led by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, according to sibling publication The Asian Lawyer, only a few months after two Magic Circle firms teamed up to advise CVC on the $1.4 billion sale of its 40 percent stake in Indonesian department store giant Matahari.
In May, CVC tapped Clifford Chance for counsel on its failed $1.4 billion bid for online betting exchange Betfair. Germany’s Hengeler Mueller advised CVC in April on its $4.1 billion purchase of energy-metering business Ista International from Charterhouse Capital Partners, according to our previous reports, while Italy’s Chiomenti took the lead for CVC earlier this year on its nearly $1.5 billion purchase of Italian credit data company Cerved from fellow private equity firms Bain Capital and Clessidra.
CVC’s sale of Colomer to Revlon is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, pending certain customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.