June 16, 2009 / 2:31 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 2-P&G buys high-end men's grooming brand Zirh

* Acquisition marks second high-end purchase this month

* Financial terms of the deal not disclosed

* Shares down 1.8 percent (Adds P&G and analyst comments, stock move, details, byline)

By Ian Sherr

CHICAGO, June 16 (Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N) said on Tuesday it has acquired skin-care company Zirh, adding another high-end brand geared toward men to its lineup.

Terms of the deal, the company’s second men’s grooming acquisition in less than two weeks, were not disclosed.

With the Zirh line, which boasts the highest-grade botanicals in its products, P&G is increasing its already strong foothold in the male grooming market, adding to its Gillette, Old Spice and Braun brands.

“Right now, Zirh is a relatively small brand,” said P&G spokeswoman Kelly Vanasse. “We fully expect it to grow, and grow quickly.”

That growth is not toward the mass market either, said Connie Maneaty of BMO Capital Markets.

“The opportunity is in broader male grooming products,” she said. “I think this is a strategy to develop male grooming more in department stores for people who shop there.”

    Historically, most P&G products have been sold in mass retail outlets such as Wal-Mart (WMT.N) and drugstores including CVS (CVS.N).

    P&G said that for now, Zirh -- which markets itself as using only natural oils and extracts and never testing on animals -- would maintain its brand and keep selling products through its own website.

    Founded in 1995 in New York, Zirh sells men’s skin care and shaving products, including $15 shaving creams, as well as deodorants, and moisturizers. Its products are typically sold online or in stores such as Bloomingdale‘s, Sephora and Macy’s (M.N).

    On June 3, P&G acquired The Art of Shaving stores, another high-end line geared toward men. [ID:nN03115197].

    Both acquisitions were likely small ones for P&G, which paid about $57 billion for shaving products leader Gillette Co in 2005. And Women’s Wear Daily, citing industry experts, reported that P&G likely paid around $60 million for The Art of Shaving. P&G has so far declined to give a figure or detail any terms of the two recent deals.

    Shares of P&G fell 1.8 percent to $50.40 in early afternoon trading. (Reporting by Ian Sherr, additional reporting by Jessica Wohl; Editing by Maureen Bavdek and Gunna Dickson )

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