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WILL VISIT SPUR NU SKIN TO EXPAND INTO EUROPE?

A visit from London's chief executive last week could hasten Nu Skin International's entry into Europe.

"Britain is the best base to access those markets. It's a springboard into Europe," said Paul Newall, the right honorable lord mayor of London.Renn Patch, Nu Skin vice president of international markets, said Newall's interest in the Provo-based multilevel marketing company could accelerate its schedule for opening another overseas market.

"It's one that we cannot ignore in the future," he said. Five of the world's top 10 direct-selling markets are in Europe, he said. Nu Skin sells personal-care products through more than 100,000 independent distributors worldwide.

Newall met with Nu Skin officials for about an hour Friday afternoon as part of an economic development mission to Utah, Arizona and Southern California. The mayor initiated contact with the company.

Patch said Newall's overtures to Nu Skin are "a little more aggressive" than those of other foreign officials. But being wooed is not new to the 10-year-old company. "Our doors are open to these development groups from other countries, and a steady stream of them are coming through."

Nu Skin has offices and independent sales people in seven countries, including Japan, Mexico, Australia and Canada.

Newall said London offers a state-of-the-art communications system, two of the world's five largest airports and a low corporate tax rate.

The mayor also noted that Utah has close ties to England through ancestry and LDS Church members.

"Britain has more links with Utah than any other state in the union," Newall said.

As a goodwill gesture, Nu Skin gave Newall $5,000 toward restoration of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.