KKR, the US private equity titan, has been making its presence felt in Australia for the past six months.

 In November, the multinational bought Arnott’s, the historic biscuit company, for AUD$3.2 billion.

 Last week, KKR entered the AUD$2.9 trillion superannuation sector with the acquisition of 55 per cent of Colonial First State from the Commonwealth Bank in a deal worth AUD$1.7 billion

When Coty announced its Professional Beauty arm would be put on the block last year, the plan was to sell off the entire division for between US$7 and US$8 billion.

But the COVID-19 pandemic cast a pall over the future prospects of key brands such as Wella, Clairol, OPI and ghd hair appliances.

The last two contenders in the race were Henkel, the German multinational, and KKR.

The private equity firm has acquired a majority stake of 60 per cent in Coty’s Professional Beauty business for US$4.3 billion.

Coty will retain a 40 per cent interest of its haircare operations, which are ranked number two in the world after L’Oréal.

According to Susan Babinsky, senior vice-president at Kline & Co, the leading market researcher and analyst: “If a deal had been reached by the end of 2019, the outcome likely would have been different.”

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