BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : JULY 10, 2000 ISSUE
BUSINESSWEEK INVESTOR -- INSIDE WALL STREET

Smelling Very Sweet Indeed


Inter Parfums (IPAR), a New York maker and distributor of brand-name fragrances, including Burberry, Christian Lacroix, and S.T. Dupont in 100 countries, has yet to make a splash in the U.S. But it has drawn quite a bit of attention in Europe: The acquisitive LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton has bought a 21% stake in Inter Parfums. LVMH has an option to buy up to 26%. To go beyond that limit, it must obtain Inter Parfums' approval. LVMH may well do that--since it usually winds up buying the companies in which it has taken a stake.

Inter Parfum also makes and distributes mass-market perfumes and cosmetics. Expected to add pizzazz to the mass-market line is FUBU, one of the fastest-growing companies in the fashion industry. Inter Parfums will soon announce an exclusive pact to create a line of fragrances and cosmetics for FUBU's niche youth market. ''We're excited because FUBU will bring us to a new young and hip crowd,'' says Inter Parfums Chairman and CEO Jean Madar. Inter Parfums is expected to post sales of $95 million to $100 million this year, up from $87 million in 1999. Earnings should hit $6 million, or 47 cents a share, up from 40 cents in 1999. The stock, now at 7 13/16, has a p-e ratio of 17.

By GENE G. MARCIAL

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