COSMETICS: Luckmcm Branches Out

Like the hero of a soap opera, Lever Brothers' Charles Luckman this week embarked on a new adventure. Lever went into the cosmetic business: it bought Manhattan's Harriet Hubbard Ayer, Inc. For one of the biggest U.S. cosmetic companies, with gross sales of $6 million to $8 million a year, the price was low—only $5,500,000 for the stock and working capital of Ayer.

Chuck Luckman got a bargain because the cosmetics business has looked none too pretty lately. (Sales have dropped so much that many a company has had to take back merchandise from retailers.) And after 30 years...

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