Terms of the acquisition from the private-equity firm Catterton Partners weren't disclosed, nor were the brand's sales. An executive familiar with the industry pegged Fekkai's global sales at under $100 million and its U.S. sales at $75 million to $100 million.
A P&G spokesman said the company expects the deal to close within around 45 days based on experience with prior deals.
Where will brand land?
The spokesman, part of the unit that handles P&G's mass brands, said Fekkai would be managed within P&G's global hair-care organization. But he declined to say yet whether it would be part of the professional hair-care operation based in California, which handles brands such as Sebastian or Graham Webb, or the Cincinnati-based mass hair-care business, which includes global leader Pantene, Head & Shoulders and Herbal Essence.
Frederic Fekkai is sold in department and specialty stores such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Sephora and could add a new category to P&G distribution in department stores, which already includes Hugo Boss, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana fragrances and SK-II cosmetics.
The deal gives P&G an entry to compete at the highest end of hair care, now dominated by rival L'Oreal with its Kerastase and Pureology brands, the latter purchased only last year.
Of course, Pantene began its life as a department-store brand, which it was when P&G acquired it as part of the Richardson-Vicks acquisition in 1985 before taking it to mass and global distribution in the late 1980s.
But Cyrus Bulsara, principal with the consultancy Professional Consultants & Resources, Plano, Texas, doubts P&G would take that route with Frederick Fekkai.
"I think they wanted to make sure they had a high-end [brand]," Mr. Bulsara said, "and they may take that and keep some of it in the department store and add a Fekkai professional line [for salons]."