Parthenon Sells ScentAir to CITIC

Parthenon Capital has sold ScentAir, a provider of scent marketing products and services, to CITIC Capital.

Scent marketing is the use of smells and aromas to strengthen the connection between a customer and a brand. The strategy is becoming more widely used by companies to differentiate their products and bolster their sales. As an example, healthcare providers are now using lavender and eucalyptus fragrances, which traditionally have been used in aromatherapy and in spas, to make waiting rooms a more calming environment for patients. Here’s a link to a great article – The Science of Scent Marketing – if you would like to learn more.

ScentAir, according to Parthenon, is the largest scent marketing company in the world and the company’s customers – including Under Armour, BMW, Dave & Busters, Harry Winston, Paul Mitchell, and Hugo Boss – operate in a wide range of industry sectors including hotels, retail, restaurants, real estate, senior living, business offices, and casinos. The company currently services over 45,000 product placements in 119 countries.

ScentAir, led by CEO Dan Connors, has more than 425 employees and is headquartered in Charlotte with additional offices and facilities in the United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia. Mr. Connors and his team will continue to lead the company in partnership with CITIC Capital.

Parthenon first invested in ScentAir in December 2014 and over the term of its ownership completed four add-on acquisitions, developed new products, and expanded the company’s sales team. Three of the four add-on acquisitions include the fragrance marketing division of Reliance, a Japan-based distributor of ScentAir products (September 2019); ScentHD, a Georgia-based provider of home fragrance products (August 2019); and Brandaroma, a UK-based provider of scent marketing products and services (March 2017).

“Dan and his team did a phenomenal job establishing ScentAir as the global industry leader in a market with tremendous white space and opportunity for continued growth,” said Andrew Dodson, a managing partner at Parthenon. “We have thoroughly enjoyed working alongside Dan and his team. We are proud of what we have accomplished together and wish the team all the best going forward.”

Parthenon Capital invests in companies with enterprise values of $35 million to $500 million that are active in healthcare services, financial services, and business services. In December 2019, the firm held a first and final closing of Parthenon Investors VI LP with more than $2 billion in commitments. Parthenon Capital was founded in 1998 and has offices in Boston, San Francisco, and Austin.

CITIC Capital, with offices in Beijing, Shanghai​ and New York, invests in niche manufacturing, consumer, food, healthcare and TMT businesses that can benefit from the firm’s knowledge of and access to the Chinese market. CITIC Capital is the investment arm of Chinese financial conglomerate and state-owned CITIC Group.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | February 21, 2020

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