There’s been a lot of movement in the prestige hair sector over the past few months.

Wella recently acquired Briogeo and P&G boosted its haircare arsenal with the buyout of Ouai late last year.

It’s not hard to see why. Mintel expects China’s shampoo and haircare market to reach US$9.16 billion a year by 2025. Western power brands like Pantene are growing in double digits, but so are prestige brands such as Kérastase, L’Oréal Professionnel and Moroccanoil, says Tmall, the Chinese e-commerce titan.

The US prestige haircare market is also booming with sales up 32 per cent in the first three months of the year, by contrast to the same period in 2021.

Bansk Group, the US-based private equity company founded by Bart Becht, the former CEO of Coty, has acquired majority stakes in the Amika and Eva NYC premium haircare brands.

With US$1.5 billion in assets, Bansk Group focuses on four investment sectors – beauty and personal care, consumer health, food and beverage and household goods. The company bought Ethique, the New Zealand beauty bar brand, in 2020. A year later, it acquired Arcadia, formerly Kramer Laboratories, a leading US vitamins and supplements maker available in more than 60, 000 doors in the US.

Amika is stocked by Sephora in the US and Eva NYC is part of Ulta Beauty’s Conscious Beauty program and Target’s Target Zero accreditation. Both brands are working towards B Corp organic certification by the end of the year.

The combined revenues of both brands is US$150 million a year and the financial muscle of Bansk Group will accelerate international and channel expansion.

Amika and Eva NYC’s brand positioning set them apart from the crowd, says Chris Kelly, partner at Bansk Group.

“This is a really great time to be investing in brands that are further up the chain in terms of premiumisation. That premiumisation effect has happened in skin care colour cosmetics, fragrance, and 50 per cent or more of those volumes are with premium brands. Retailers on the front lines are positioning their shelf space to appeal to those consumers adding higher quality products.”

Both Amika and Eva NYC will continue to operate as individual brands, led by their respective founders, Chelsea Riggs and Jane Moran.

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