Coty Purchases OPI (and a rant)

In case you didn't hear, yesterday came the official announcement that Coty had acquired OPI.  Please read the following press release:

Coty Adds OPI Nail Lacquers and Nicole by OPI to Its Growing Color Portfolio

NEW YORK, November 29, 2010 — Coty Inc., a leading global beauty company, and OPI Products Inc., a leader in professional nail salon products, today announced that Coty has entered into an agreement to acquire OPI.

The acquisition will enhance Coty's color cosmetic portfolio, through the addition of over 200 fashion forward colors of OPI Nail Lacquer's chip-resistant formula, which has been an international success.  "We view the acquisition of OPI as complementary to Coty and a natural extension of our strategy to offer a unique portfolio of brands that produce some of the best known consumer products around the world," said Bernd Beetz, CEO, Coty Inc. "OPI is both dynamic and high quality and has earned its place as a leading provider to professional nail care salons. This acquisition will allow Coty to expand our presence in the nail care category via an important new channel of distribution: professional salons, and importantly will offer an even greater selection of products and choice to consumers."  

"We are very excited about having OPI join the Coty family. OPI has gained a place in consumer's minds in the US and internationally," said Renato Semerari, President, Coty Beauty. "It is one of THE fashion brands in Nail Color for salons and that is a very unique position to be in. OPI's success is the result of a very focused and high quality effort by the OPI team over the past decades. We are very excited to join forces with such a talented team to strengthen OPI even further in the future."

"It's time for a new era at OPI, and together with Coty we can begin this new journey," said George Schaeffer, President and CEO of OPI Products Inc. "For almost 30 years, we have built a solid foundation of innovation and excellence. We are confident that by joining Coty, this legacy will continue and be strengthened. We are all excited about the next phase of opportunity for OPI. Our management team will continue on with the company and OPI's business strategy will remain focused on the salon professional."

"OPI has a reputation for creating fashion-forward products that make women feel beautiful and Coty is a well established trend setter in the beauty industry," said Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, the Executive VP & Artistic Director of OPI Products, Inc. "Together we will continue to push the envelope in beauty, color and trends."

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is also subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Moelis & Company served as financial advisor to Coty in connection with the transaction. Lazard Freres & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor to OPI. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal advisor to Coty in the transaction. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as legal advisor to OPI.

About Coty Inc.
Coty was created in Paris in 1904 by Francois Coty who is credited with founding the modern fragrance industry. Today, Coty Inc. is a recognized leader in global beauty with annual net sales of nearly $4 billion. Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, passion, innovation and creativity, Coty Inc. has developed an unrivaled portfolio of notable brands and delivers its innovative products to consumers in 90 markets worldwide. The Coty Prestige brand portfolio is distributed in prestige and ultra-prestige stores and includes Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein, Cerruti, Chlo√©, Chopard, Davidoff, Jennifer Lopez, Jil Sander, JOOP!, Karl Lagerfeld, Kenneth Cole, L.A.M.B. fragrance by Gwen Stefani, La Voce by Renee Fleming, Lancaster, Marc Jacobs, Nikos, Sarah Jessica Parker, Vera Wang, Vivienne Westwood and Wolfgang Joop.  The Coty Beauty brand portfolio is more widely distributed and includes adidas, ASTOR, Baby Phat, Beyonc√© Knowles, Celine Dion, Chupa Chups, David and Victoria Beckham, Esprit, Exclamation, Faith Hill, GUESS, Halle Berry, Jovan, Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue, La Cross, Lady Gaga, Miss Sporty, Nautica, N.Y.C. New York Color, Pierre Cardin1 , Playboy, Rimmel, Sally Hansen, Stetson, Tim McGraw, and Tonino Lamborghini.  Coty and Puig Fashion and Beauty S.A. have a strategic partnership for the distribution of the perfume lines of Nina Ricci, Carolina Herrera, Prada, Paco Rabanne, and Antonio Banderas in the United States and Canada.

For additional information about Coty Inc., please visit
(1) Not available in North America

About OPI Products Inc.
OPI Products Inc., one of the world’s leaders in professional nail care since 1981, has revolutionized the beauty industry by combining leading-edge innovation with trendsetting, fashion-forward colors. Under the leadership of OPI President & CEO George Schaeffer and Executive VP & Artistic Director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, beautifully manicured nails are now seen as the essential fashion accessory.  Preferred by salon professionals and favored by red-carpet celebrities, OPI Nail Lacquer is currently available in 200+ shades. OPI Nail Lacquers contain no DBP, Toluene, or Formaldehyde, and feature a patented Lacquer bottle, ergonomic cap, and ProWide® Brush designed for flawless application.  In addition to Nail Lacquer, OPI also offers an entire range of state-of-the-art quality products for hands, feet, and nails – with more than 30 Patents for the company’s innovative product ideas.  OPI has had a number of successful partnerships, including CW Network, DELL, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Kristi Yamaguchi, Serena Williams, Sony Pictures Screen Gems, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Walt Disney Pictures, and Warner Home Video.

For more information, call 800.341.9999 or visit

Okay.  Krystal talking.  So there has been MAJOR Internet uproar over this because "Coty tests on animals."  Now, every time I hear this phrase, I roll my eyes a little.  When Facebook applications first started in spring of 2007, I had the unique opportunity to help on one of the applications, and it ended up being wildly successful early on.  That's when the rumors started.  I couldn't BELIEVE some of the things I saw being written about myself and the company I was working for.  The rumors only got worse when my game was purchased by a larger company.  I mean, really, some of the rumors were ranging from interesting to "What on earth is WRONG with people?"  So when ever I hear Internet rumors about another company, I know what it's like to have been on the other side of that coin and how MOST of what I heard about MY company was completely fake, false, made up and just Internet rumor.

So today I decided to learn about Coty.  I had never even heard of this company before the OPI acquisition, despite how many very famous brands they carry.  I was specifically looking as to what does Coty say about animal testing?

I didn't even spend five minutes before I found my answer.  Plain as day, under their "Product Safety" page:

We share our consumers' respect for life, and therefore are committed to maintaining the highest possible standards of human safety while eliminating the need for testing on animals. Coty's safety testing policy requires that we meet or exceed all governmental safety laws in each of the 90+ markets in which our products are sold.

Okay really?  All this uproar and craziness and the company flat out says they aren't testing on animals?!  SERIOUSLY?

So I was thinking okay, let me at least CHECK where people are getting their information that Coty is apparently an animal testing company...

Simple Google - "Coty animal testing" - not hard here.  In fact, click on those words there because I love the LMGTFY website. ^_^

First result
This page was updated in June 2010, which makes me feel at least decent about the information even if it is almost 6 months old.  Coty is listed as a bad company BUT it's NOT because they have been proven to animal test... it's because they didn't provide THIS WEBSITE with Coty's policy.  I don't know when Coty added the above quoted message to their website, but it must have been after June 2010.  So frankly, this isn't FACT, this is an outdated opinion to me.

Second result
No date on this page, so there's no telling how old the information is, but Coty is NOT listed as a "bad" company, they are listed as "questionable".  When I clicked on the word "Questionable" I was taken to this website which also said "Questionable" when I entered Coty in the search text box.  That doesn't mean that they are a tester, it means that someone didn't get the above information.  Again.

Third result
Now this is a blog that an official statement from Coty which states flat out "Coty Inc, does not test on animals."  Need I say more?

Fourth result: Dead link - bad Google.

Fifth result
I am not familiar with this website at all, but it looks like a question and answer type website.  Coty is listed as testing on animals but if you look at the top of the page, the only date listed is for 5/30/2002.  That's very outdated information.  And here I thought "Oh, 6 months is bad."

So please, stop the rumors, stop the nonsense. Do your research!  If you are going to boycott someone or something, do it because you did your research and you believe in your results.


  1. THANK YOU for this post! Now I can stop feeling slightly guilty for buying Sally Hansen, Rimmel, and all the other companies Coty owns.

  2. Oh wow, thanks! This one took off like wildfire, didn't it? Coty is supposedly acquiring Philosophy in December, so I was feeling a wee bit sad about that. Now I have no reason to feel sad or guilty for buying Philosophy or OPI products.

  3. Wow, thanks for this! I had no idea this fact was not certain. I was planning to boycott OPI due to the animal testing issue. May have to rethink.

  4. This is not a personal attack, nor is this an attack on Coty. I am not trying to upset you or disparage Coty. What I would like is for animal testing to end.

    Coty's website reads: "We share our consumers' respect for life, and therefore are committed to maintaining the highest possible standards of human safety while eliminating the need for testing on animals." This is almost identical to Proctor & Gamble's statement (P&G is one of the biggest animal testing companies).

    Coty is "committed to maintaining the highest possible stanards of human safety" (meaning, 'we still need to test products on animals') "while eliminating the need for testing on animals" (meaning, 'we are working on ways to eliminate animal testing'). This is a slick and fancy way to say, "Yes, we test on animals, but conscious consumers should still buy from us because we could be working to eliminate animal testing."

    Companies that do not test are very open about it. Consumers avoid companies that test on animals. Companies want consumers to buy from them. When they do not test on animals, they make this clear.

    I have a serious problem with animal testing and I think it is important for consumers to be aware and informed.

  5. Please read the third link where an official response plainly says "We do not test on animals" - I know as my job as a CSS, I can say things like "We will not be charging for x" but my company will not put that on our website, so I still feel like what the company says is what they mean, and it's not some flowy way of saying "We really do test but we're just pretending we don't."

    Thank you for posting another viewpoint but until I get some actual proof that Coty is testing, I don't believe it.

  6. Underneath that statement though, they go on to say:

    "However, there may be rare occurrences when a government or regulatory agency may indicate to the Cosmetic Industry that an animal study is necessary, where no validated alternative exists, to ensure consumer protection for a component of our products. In such cases, the need for testing is carefully examined by our Industry and if the test must be performed, it is strictly controlled."

    Also, on NAVS and Peta they are still listed as testing on animals. These lists are updated frequently.

  7. I have to agree with Brooke here, the way they've worded it pretty much means that though they do not do rigorous animal testing they do participate in some due to guidelines. I found through my own research on animal testing that it really is all in the legalize of how they word it. Take Benefit for example they state they don't animal test but due to legislature saying that as long as the final products are not tested on animals they can use a non-testing label even if (like benefit) they test their ingredients on animals. Just saying it's all in how its worded.

  8. It's a tough situation but I'm still sticking to the "If the company says they don't, I believe them." ^_^

    I do thank you both for posting the other side of the situation - my whole point is people need to be better informed, not just listening to gossip and running with it like it's fact.

  9. thanks for this post, very informative. I really hope they don't test on animals

  10. Thanks to you for posting this and thanks to everyone who is commenting and doing research! And thanks again to everybody for playing nicely! Bravo ladies! It's so easy to just be reactionary and not do any work yourself when making decisions like these. I wish more people took the time to think for themselves and do bit of work before coming to conclusions.

  11. Thanks for the information Krystal. I'm not running away with the gossip, I simply believe that what I've learned about Coty is that they *could be* testing on animals. I'm not about to boycott anything with that kind of wavering knowledge, but I do frown upon the practice wholeheartedly and dislike the fact that something they are obviously worried about hasn't been answered definitively. I don't know if we'll ever know the truth entire truth, *shrug* I just don't see the point in arguing about it, really. I know where I stand and believe that consumers should be educated (like you say) especially if they are concerned about such things. And honestly, if it were a bigger deal to me, I'd rather be "safe than sorry" and just not buy from any company whose status as an animal testing facility were in question. There, now I've had my say :P

  12. Just as people blindly accept the rumors that Coty does do animal testing, people who read this blog may now blindly follow your post and believe that they don't without doing their own research. And as you say, doing one's own research is important, especially given the fact that Coty makes it very clear that they, to quote another comment here, "they do not do rigorous animal testing they do participate in some." For some people? ANY animal testing is too much. So for those who are very passionate about this subject, I hope they don't take this post at face value without looking into it further, because they will end up unknowingly compromising their own morals.

  13. I work for a pharmaceutical company. At our particular site they no longer do animal testing. However, at some of the research sites they do. I believe that most companies continue to reduce animal testing as new methods are developed. The sad reality is that alternatives have not been discovered for certain things. The testing they do is related to getting new drugs to market, many of these life saving therapies.

    While I find it admirable to try to purchase from companies that do no animal testing I believe that is harder to do than you realize. If all products were critiqued the way cosmetics are regarding this then I think you would find that there may be many everyday items we use that have involved some animal testing along the way without even realizing it. If you or a loved one requires a specific medication and it involves animal testing would you think about it any differently?

  14. Thanks for the information and the intelligent and respectful dialogue, this was awesome!

  15. Coty is owned by Del Labs, which DOES test on animals.

  16. "while eliminating the need for testing on animals." This is a sly way of saying that they haven't eliminated the "need" yet. Also- there is zero "need" to test on animals, so this is again misleading speech, which is meant to trick people. Apparently it works....

    "Coty's safety testing policy requires that we meet or exceed all governmental safety laws in each of the 90+ markets in which our products are sold." This means that they select ingredients which they know require animal testing by law, rather than just selecting ingredients which are not required to be tested on animals.

  17. After reading all the posts here I sure hope none of you lovely ladies ever take an aspirin or a flu shot or Advil or any other medicine. Dont get me wrong I DO NOT approve of animal testing but every FDA approved medication on the market has been animal tested so it hardly seems reasonable to boycott a company that may or may not animal test when as society is now its not possible to completely avoid products that haven't been.

  18. My apologizes to VAGirl - your comment was flagged as Spam by Blogger, and I check that section of my dashboard about once a month. I'm sorry that it's taken awhile to be posted.