Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Chesebrough-Pond's International Capital Corp. - Lehman Brothers Collection

Chesebrough-Pond's International Capital Corp.

List of Deals

Chesebrough-Pond's, Inc. was created as a result of a 1955 merger between Pond's Extract Company and Chesebrough Manufacturing Company, Consolidated. Pond's Extract originated from Theron Pond's experiments with witch hazel in the 1840s. He began marketing his witch hazel product, Pond's Extract, in 1846, and went international in the 1870s. By 1933 the company had manufacturing plants in Canada and Great Britain. In 1870 Robert Chesebrough began selling a product derived from petroleum residue, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. He also opened a London office in the 1870s and made distribution arrangements with Colgate & Company in 1873 to meet the strong demand for his product. In 1881 Chesebrough Manufacturing began operating under Standard Oil; like many of Standard's subsidiaries, the company regained independence after the 1911 anti-trust laws dissolved Standard's monopoly in the oil industry. By 1923 Chesebrough had plants in Canada and Great Britain.

In 1955 Pond's and Chesebrough merged, becoming Chesebrough-Pond's, Inc. After absorbing the costs of the merger and expansion, the company's sales rose dramatically, increasing from $47 million in 1954 to $117 million in 1963. During that time the company embarked on an acquisitions program. In 1956, it acquired Seeck & Kade, the manufacturers of Pertussin Cough Syrup. Chesebrough-Pond's developed variations of this brand, such as Pertussin Medicated Vaporizer, the first medicated spray of its kind. In 1958 the company acquired Prince Matchabelli, Inc., the fragrances and toiletries division of the Vick Chemical Company. In the following years, Chesebrough-Pond's acquired Aziza Eye Cosmetics, Northam Warren (maker of Cutex products), and Q-Tips. Through this period, the company kept its growth streamlined and controlled.

During the 1960s Chesebrough-Pond's continued to thrive, both domestically and abroad. The company had subsidiaries located in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, and elsewhere. Chesebrough-Pond's also maintained a program of product development; in 1964 it introduced the first flavored lipsticks, as well as a line of cosmetics for sale in food chains. In 1969 the company purchased Ragu Packing Company, which was at that time a small spaghetti sauce company in Rochester, New York. Chesebrough-Pond's launched an aggressive marketing campaign for Ragu, and it was soon the top-selling spaghetti sauce in the nation.

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