Olivier Soapery lands new owners

Five new investors have purchased the Olivier Soapery in the hope they can turn around the financially troubled company.

The well-known soap and skin care company, which is based in St.-Anne-de-Kent, filed for voluntary receivership last year.

Peter Porter, the company’s new president, said the group of investors made the purchase in April and plan to strengthen the company’s brand.

“That was one of the attractions for us to get in there: it's a great product. And we had the product tested and it was very strong and it's well received in the marketplace. It's very popular,” he said.

“So, we're going to try to develop the soap to a higher level and broaden the line out so that there's more to be offered, so that the brand will be more conscious in everybody's eyes.”

Porter said the new owners hope to have a business plan for the company in place by Sept. 1.

The soap company has had a high profile in recent years. It had opened up different stores outside of New Brunswick, in places such as in New York.

The company also appeared on CBC’s Dragons’ Den.

Pierre Pelletier and Clarence LeBlanc were asking for $300,000 in exchange for 20 per cent of the company. The entrepreneurs turned down an offer of $300,000 for a 30 per cent stake in the company.

But Olivier Soapery had accepted financial assistance from the federal and provincial governments.

The provincial government’s Regional Development Corp. gave the company $220,750 between March 2008 and April 2009 for three projects.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency gave the company $2.5 million on eight different occasions.

But as the company started experiencing financial difficulties, it began pulling out of some of its stores.

For instance, it closed its office in Riverview’s Chocolate River Station last September.

The company's new owners will be bringing years of business experience to the company.

Porter served as a high-ranking official with Salomon, a ski company, from the 1970s to the 1990s.

He said he wants to use his experience and take advantage of the company’s existing popularity.

“Our motivation is we want to see it to come out maybe two or three times that popular. And that's one of the reasons why we're taking our time, doing the restructuring, looking at what I call the good, the bad and the ugly. And see if we can make a marketing plan that makes sense to do that,” Porter said.

“You have to have a good solid marketing plan and you have to have the financial resources to do it. We think that's what we're bringing to the table.”

[ [ [['xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx', 11]], '27013743', '0' ], [ [['keyword', 9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999]], 'videoID', '1', 'overwrite-pre-description', 'overwrite-link-string', 'overwrite-link-url' ] ]