European and US private equity companies have become major investors in the global beauty industry over the past decade and the trend is still going strong.
Advent International, the owner of the Olaplex haircare brand and former investor in Douglas, Europe’s largest cosmetic and fragrance chain, has inked a deal to buy the Laura Mercier, bareMinerals and Buxom Cosmetics brands from Shiseido for US$700 million.
Advent acquired Olaplex in 2020 and rumours circulated in July that the company was looking to on-sell the company. The buyout of the three Shiseido brands is being facilitated through a new holding company, AI Beauty Holdings, with a future strategy of investing in more colour cosmetics brands.
Janet Gurwitch, the founder of Laura Mercier, is an operating partner at Advent and will be heavily involved in all three of the newly acquired brands going forward.
Shiseido first touted the sale of the three brands in April to focus on key categories, including skincare. The Japanese giant recently sold its personal care business to CVC, another leading private equity firm. The brands remaining in Shiseidio’s stable include Cle de Peau Beaute, NARS, Drunk Elephant, the core Shiseido brand and designer fragrance brands such as Issey Miyake, Narciso Rodriguez and Serge Lutens.
According to Tracy Glynn, a partner at Advent, there are really positive indicators of renewed demand for colour cosmetics and this will only intensify going forward. “This was, in our view, a truly unique opportunity to invest in colour at scale and really invest in these three brands.”
L Catterton, the investment arm of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury good group, has sold StriVectin to Crown Laboratories. The prestige skincare brand is sold in Priceline in Australia and was founded in 2002 as a breakthrough anti-ageing range.
US-based Crown Laboratories owns PanOxyl acne treatments, anti-itch stalwart Sarna and Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen.
L Catterton acquired StriVectin in 2009 and springboarded compound annual growth of 20 per cent over the past three years. The terms of the deal were not disclosed but StriVectin will be a hero brand of Crown’s new Premium Skincare division, alongside Vita Liberata, the luxury organic sunless tanning brand sold through David Jones, Adore Beauty and Look Fantastic in Australia.