Private equity giant, KKR, sent waves through the professional beauty industry in Australia when it bought Laser Clinics Australia (LCA) in 2017 for $650 million.

Over the past five years, LCA has become the largest cosmetic clinic chain in the world with 200 locations in Australia, the UK, New Zealand and Singapore.

In June, LCA negotiated a $300 million debt agreement with global financial specialist, Nomura, to fund further global expansion.

But growth hasn’t come without issues. Over the past year or so,  LCA has faced complaints from a group of franchisees, claiming the company had engaged in too much discounting and also didn’t provide enough support. In July, KKR bought out more than 30 clinics but for much less than the franchisees hoped for.

KKR has increased its presence in the global aesthetics market with the acquisition of a minority stake in SkinSpirit, the US medical services chain.

Founded in 2013, SkinSpirit is the largest provider of Botox and fillers in the US and have  a strong focus on facial rejuvenation.

By the end of the year, the company will have added nine new locations, bringing its network to 30 clinics across the US.

Lynn Heublein, co-founder and CEO of SkinSpirit, said that the KKR investment will allow the company to continue at that pace and maintain quality, and also the ability to make sure it trains people appropriately and brings on new products and services.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. GreyLion, another US investor, took a minority stake in SkinSpirit in 2018. A position it retains.

Ali Satvat, partner at KKR and global head of healthcare strategic growth, confirmed that the medical aesthetics space was a priority for the company.

“The view is it’s a space that should grow, it’s a space we’ve been following the growth of. One of the drivers is the increasing economic power of women, and increasing spend of beauty and wellness”.

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