Markwins International Corporation Continues to Expand Robust Brand Portfolio with Agreement to Acquire Bonne Bell and Lip Smacker

29 Jan, 2015, 16:30 ET from Markwins International Corporation

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. and WESTLAKE, Ohio, Jan. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Markwins International Corporation ("Markwins" or the "Company") has entered into an agreement to acquire Aspire Brands assets Bonne Bell (www.bonnebell.com) and Lip Smacker (www.lipsmacker.com).

Markwins continues to add to their ever-growing global footprint with its third major acquisition in a dozen years, following its acquisition of AM Cosmetics in 2003 and of Physicians Formula Holdings, Inc. in 2012. Under Markwins ownership, Physicians Formula has enjoyed market share gains year of year, while Markwins holdings wet n wild and Black Radiance have grown in dollars by no less than three times the industry average since 2011. With the completion of its acquisition of Bonne Bell and Lip Smacker, Markwins fills a desired segment to their symbiotic company structure, and will use its proven reach and expertise to achieve new milestones with the brands.

"Markwins has a proven track record of creating excitement and bringing innovation to the cosmetic category," said Jess "Buddy" Bell, Jr., founder of Aspire Brands. "They will bring the same excitement and innovation to the Lip Smacker and Bonne Bell brands. I am excited about the future of the Lip Smacker and Bonne Bell brands under Markwins ownership."

Markwins strategically adds the youth consumer with its imminent acquisition. Together with existing "masstige" brand Physicians Formula, industry-dominant entry point brand wet n wild, leading ethnic brand Black Radiance, and its successful collection business, brands under the Markwins umbrella cater to beauty consumers of all demographics, inclusive of age, ethnicity, lifestyle, and preference.

"The synergies of adding another mass beauty brand, focused in color cosmetics, fits wonderfully into Markwins' current global operations," said Bill George, President and Chief Operating Officer of Markwins Beauty Products. "Bonne Bell and Lip Smacker add new consumers to our growing portfolio without any consumer cannibalization or crossover."

"For Markwins, Bonne Bell and Lip Smacker will undoubtedly reach a new consumer and enhance our retail relationships," said Eric Chen, Chief Executive Officer of Markwins. "But on a personal level, Markwins' brands have always aimed to connect with consumers in an intimate way. Bonne Bell is an industry icon, with a rich history dating back 87 years and with 94% consumer recognition. These numbers are staggering in our business, but the smiles the name alone brings to the faces of the consumers are much more impactful."

The asset purchase provides Markwins the unique opportunity to select working capital and intellectual assets on a global platform.

Markwins and Aspire Brands have mutually agreed to aim to close in February 2015.

About Markwins International Corporation

Based in City of Industry, California, Markwins International Corporation is a global leader in color cosmetics, cosmetic accessories, and beauty collections. Founded by CEO Eric Chen nearly 30 years ago, the privately-held company is recognized as a Top 20 purveyor in the global cosmetic industry. With over 5,000 employees, Markwins brands cater to and reach consumers of all ages, ethnicities, economic statuses, and skin tones. The Markwins brand portfolio includes wet n wild, Physicians Formula, The Color Workshop, The Color Institute, Black Radiance, and POP, amongst many other internal brands and licensing deals. Markwins brands can be found in over 50,000 retail outlets including Department, Specialty, Mass, Drug, and Food stores, and are available in more than 60 countries, spanning 6 continents.

About Aspire Brands

Founded in 2010, Jess Bell Jr., longtime owner of the Bonne Bell Company, reorganized the company from Bonne Bell to Aspire Brands. Since 1927, Bonne Bell delivered category-leading brands to consumers. In 1973, Bonne Bell introduced flavored lip pomade called "Lip Smacker," now the namesake of the consumer favorite lip gloss and balm brand. Lip Smacker has successfully grown by partnering with global iconic brands like Coca-Cola, Mars, Paul Frank, and Disney. Proud to be the world's first flavored lip gloss, Lip Smacker has been made in the US since its inception. Building on the Bonne Bell Company's leadership and flavor innovation, Lip Smacker continues to strengthen its global positioning and is today distributed in more than 100 countries worldwide.

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SOURCE Markwins International Corporation