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BeautyMatter: Q4 2017 – Beauty Deals

BeautyMatter was born from Founder Kelly Kovack’s desire to provide a fresh voice to a beauty industry hungry for more content from her perspective, and through her lens. BeautyMatter aim to fill the void, connect the dots, and provide an informed, analytical, and compelling point of view. Exploring limits and blurring boundaries, they offer highly curated news and original content by thought leaders and beauty insiders.

Kelly Kovack:

Deals continue to flow and follow consumer dollars in Q4. This year has seen legacy companies acquiring customer sets, technology, or innovation, and raising the bar on multiples. survey by Deloitte showed acquisition spend increased by 30% in 2017 in the fashion and beauty sectors. A number of sizeable deals closed under the wire in the last weeks of the year. This quarter saw the continued slowdown in the colour category and an uptick in skincare and hair care. 


WHO: RéVive is a luxury skincare line developed by Dr. Gregory Bays Brown, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, created to bring back the glow of youth. Each product has been scientifically formulated with Bio-Renewal Technology, inspired by patented and Nobel Prize-winning science, that Dr. Brown used to heal burn victims. This breakthrough technology delivers fast results to help change the behaviour of skin and restore skin’s youthful glow. Launched in 1997, RéVive is distributed domestically at luxury retailers Neiman Marcus, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, Blue Mercury, and Cos Bar and at select retailers in Canada, UK, Europe, and Asia. RéVive has been housed alongside Laura Mercier as part of Gurwitch Products, which Shiseido acquired in 2016.

Tengram Capital is a private equity firm that invests in companies in the branded consumer products and retail space and acts as a catalyst to drive growth. Its current beauty portfolio includes NEST FragrancesAlgenist, specialty beauty retailer Cos Bar, and natural beauty brand This Works. Prior investments include DevaCurl and Laura Geller Beauty

Shiseido was founded in 1872 as the first Western-style pharmacy in Japan. The business gradually evolved into a cosmetics company, offering advanced technology and the finest aesthetics available. Now known globally as the premier cosmetics company with roots in Japan, the name Shiseido has come to represent the world’s highest standards of quality. Fiercely contemporary and innovative after over 140 years in the business, Shiseido group brands are now sold in over 120 countries and regions.

WHY: RéVive marks the second divestiture from Shiseido recently in an apparent effort to focus on specific business areas. Last month Shiseido agreed to sell professional hair business Zotos to Henkel for $485 million.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We are delighted to add RéVive to our strong and growing portfolio of beauty brands,” Richard Gersten, a Partner at Tengram Capital said in a release. “As an investor in consumer brands with a deep knowledge in beauty, I have watched RéVive for a long time. We believe it is a gem, thanks to Founder Dr. Gregory Bays Brown, its exceptional products based on Nobel prize-winning technologies, a loyal consumer following, and its impressive distribution. The RéVive brand has strong growth prospects, and we look forward to investing in key areas to enable the brand to thrive.”

“RéVive has always been known for the quality and efficacy of its products. Its performance and positioning is well poised to appeal to a discerning skincare consumer domestically and internationally via both current and new channels of distribution,” said Elana Drell Szyfer, Operating Advisor to Tengram. “Finding a brand like RéVive is rare—we are extremely excited about the opportunity to partner with the existing team, partners, and of course, Dr. Brown.”

“RéVive is the culmination of my academic research, my surgical expertise, my personal passion for healing and my love of the customer,” said Dr. Brown. “I am so excited for this next chapter in the brand’s journey. I have enjoyed getting to know Tengram and have great respect for Rich Gersten and what he and the Tengram team have accomplished with their brands. Elana and I have a shared vision of success and I’m excited to see the great things the future holds.”

“RéVive is a wonderful skin-care brand,” said Marc Rey, president and CEO of Shiseido Americas. “We are confident it will be well supported by Tengram while Shiseido focuses on continuing growth across our strategic portfolio of brands and businesses.”


  • Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to WWD, industry sources estimated RéVive does about $15 million in sales.
  • Tengram will run the company as an independent and stand-alone entity based in New York City.
  • Gregory Brown, the brand’s founder, is reinvesting in the business and will join the board.
  • Elana Drell-Szyfer, the former chief executive officer of Laura Geller, will head RéVive as CEO.
  • John Elmer is also joining as chief financial officer and chief operating officer, positions he held while working with Szyfer at Laura Geller.
  • Mary Rodrigues will also join RéVive as senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce.


WHO: Neom Organics was founded in 2005 by friends Nicola Elliott and Oliver Mennel. Noticing her wellbeing and that of her close friends were being affected by the stress and demands of modern life, Nicola quit her editorial position at Glamour magazine and trained as an aromatherapist and nutritionist. Combining Nicola’s beauty experience and Oliver’s background as an investment analyst, they launched Neom Organics to focus on improving people’s wellbeing through home fragrances and skincare. All products are made in Britain from ethically sourced, sustainable origins, using only natural and organic ingredients, no petrochemical paraffin or mineral waxes, no artificial perfumes, only pure essential oils, and no harsh preservatives. Distribution of the brand is through leading departments stores, online, and three branded retail stores. 

Piper invests in entrepreneurs, providing funding and expertise to support unlocking growth potential with a focus on fast-growing consumer brands in retail, leisure, consumer products, and services, with a presence in the UK with a turnover of £5MM+, in which they invest around £5-£25 million.

WHY: The investment will provide the funding necessary to enable expansion of the product range, develop the senior team, open additional stores, and increase its international footprint.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Oliver Mennell said in a release: “We first met Piper in 2009 and, since then, we have regularly worked with the team and drawn on their knowledge and expertise to help us achieve our growth ambitions.” Nicola Elliott added: “We are immensely proud of Neom and excited about the potential we have to help more and more customers meet their wellbeing needs. We genuinely believe Neom gives them easy, small steps that can help them feel their best every day.”

Libby Gibson, partner at Piper, said: “We know from all our research that, with such busy lives, consumers are increasingly concerned about their wellbeing. We have admired Neom for many years and have been consistently impressed with the quality of its products and how the brand addresses a real and growing consumer need. We look forward to helping Nicola, Oliver and the team build on their success.”


  • Piper invests in Neom Organics. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Retail sales value has grown by 35% this year to reach £18MM.
  • Neom has an online business and three branded retail stores—two in London (Chelsea and Wimbledon), one in Leeds, with further openings planned.
  • This is the third investment from Piper’s sixth fund, Piper VI, which recently closed at £125MM.


WHO: Helen of Troy is a leading global consumer products company offering creative solutions for its customers through a portfolio of well-recognized and widely trusted brands, including OXO, Hydro Flask, Vicks®, Braun, Honeywell, PUR, Febreze, Revlon, Pro Beauty Tools, Sure, Pert, Infusium23, Brut, Ammens, Hot Tools, Bed Head, Dr. Sinatra, Dr. David Williams, and Dr. Whitaker. Healthy Directions and subsidiaries make up the nutritional supplements segment of the Helen of Troy portfolio.  

Direct Digital is a leader in the areas of product development and marketing within the health and wellness space. Healthy Directions is a leading provider of premier doctor-formulated nutritional supplements, products, and expert natural health guidance. Direct Digital owns the Nugenix, Instaflex, Peptiva, Lumiday, and Luminite brands, which are distributed throughout North America and internationally, direct-to-consumer, and leading national retailers.

WHY: The sale of Healthy Directions advances a strategy to focus its resources on its Leadership Brands. The company’s Leadership Brands are among the highest-volume, highest-margin, and most asset-efficient businesses at Helen of Troy.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Julien R. Mininberg, Chief Executive Officer of Helen of Troy, stated in a release: “We are pleased to have entered into this transaction. We believe Healthy Directions and its highly dedicated staff will benefit from its new home with Direct Digital, a privately held company focused on the vitamin, mineral and supplement market. We believe Direct Digital is well-positioned to take Healthy Directions to its next phase of growth. As we part ways with Healthy Directions, we thank the management and staff for all their efforts, and wish them well.”

Mr. Mininberg continued: “This transaction will strengthen the overall portfolio of Helen of Troy, and focus our resources toward our most attractive business prospects, including our seven Leadership Brands. These brands include Braun, Honeywell, PUR, Vicks, OXO, Hydro Flask and Hot Tools, all of which can fully leverage our shared services platform, strong balance sheet, and global presence as we continue to execute our strategic transformation plan. Our strategic plan also includes seeking further acquisition opportunities. The direct-to-consumer systems and fulfillment capability we have built for Healthy Directions will continue to be of value to Helen of Troy’s remaining portfolio. This will allow us to continue building on the investments and know-how in direct-to-consumer online sales, and the fulfillment efficiencies we have gained in our distribution center.”

Brandon Adcock, Co-founder and president of Direct Digital, said, “We are very excited about today’s announcement and welcome the collective talent and energy of the Healthy Directions team to the Direct Digital family. We are extremely pleased to add Healthy Directions to our health and wellness platform. Healthy Directions’ family of highly respected doctors and wellness experts will be a tremendous complement to our portfolio of nutritional brands. The Healthy Directions marketing platform will further strengthen Direct Digital’s omni channel strategy by adding robust, authoritative content, as well as market-leading direct mail capabilities. We believe this combination, together with our distinctive entrepreneurial culture, lean operating structure, and efficient business model, will enable Direct Digital to continue to bring innovative and category leading nutritional supplements to market.”


  • Proceeds from the sale are comprised of $46 million in cash and a supplemental payment with a target value of $25 million, payable on or before August 1, 2019.
  • The final amount of the supplemental payment may be adjusted up or down based on the performance of Healthy Directions through February 28, 2018.
  • Cantor Fitzgerald provided lead advisory services and Baker & McKenzie LLP served as legal counsel to Helen of Troy on the transaction.
  • Deloitte Corporate Finance LLC acted as financial advisor and Davis & Gilbert LLP served as legal counsel to Direct Digital LLC on the transaction.


WHO: Founded by Giorgos Korres in 1996 with a story deeply rooted in his homeopathic experience in Greece’s oldest pharmacy, the brand has a simple philosophy rooted in the use of natural and/or certified organic ingredients and based on four groups: herbs with pharmaceutical properties, Greek flora herbs, food ingredients, and high-efficacy natural ingredients. Today the Korres product assortment includes over 400 natural and certified organic products, featuring a skin & hair care range and a make-up line as well as sun care products and herbal preparations.

WHY: The investment paves the way for the expansion of the Korres brand into China.


  • Greek brand Korres has received a cash infusion of 48.3 million euros from a Morgan Stanley-managed private equity fund and a Chinese cosmetics distributor.
  • The investment comes with a new ownership structure under a holding company, Nissos Holdings. North Haven Private Equity Asia IV and Profex Inc. will own 56% and 14% of Nissos, respectively, while Giorgos Korres and members of the Korres family will own the remaining 30%.
  • To claim their shares, North Haven and Profex bought out all shareholders outside the Korres family, including former Johnson & Johnson executive Pericles Stamatiades and Greek magnate Dimitris Daskalopoulos’ Damma Holdings.
  • As part of the deal, Korres and Profex will enter into an exclusive license and supply agreement, allowing Profex to distribute Korres products in China and Hong Kong.
  • Industry sources say the brand does about 100 million euros in annual retail sales, which does not include its business in Central and South America done through a distribution partnership with Avon.


WHO: Luxury supplement brand The Nue Co. was launched 8 months ago by British entrepreneur Jules Miller. The formulas are created using natural, organic ingredients that are sustainably sourced from around the world. The assortment consists of 11 products ranging from debloating wellness powders to supplements designed to aid in muscle tension, digestion, sleep, immunity, and fatigue. The business is distributed in 50 retailers globally such as Net-A-Porter, MR Porter, Goop, Credo, Soho House, and Ace Hotel. The business has plans for a 3,200-square-foot space at 39 Spring Street in New York that is slated to open Jan. 11. The space will be equipped with a trial-style bar at the back, a florist, and a lounge area.

WHY: The funds will be used to boost its direct-to-consumer sales online and support retail distribution.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “The Nue Co. is leading with an exciting pipeline of innovative products designed for the well-being of today’s consumers who live a very dynamic lifestyle,” said Morningside Director of Investments Maria Lam. “We are impressed with the creativity and energy of the management team who have been very astute in accessing the retail market.”


  • The Nue Co. has raised $1.5 million in seed funding with Morningside Group leading the round. 
  • According to WWD the Nue Co. is on track to do $1 million in sales for 2017 with 65% of the sales coming from retail. 


WHO: Oribe was founded in 2008 by iconic hairstylist Oribe Canales with Daniel Kaner and Tevya Finger of Luxury Brand Partners. The brand has managed to navigate and set the standard for both professional hair care and prestige distribution channels, becoming an authority for experienced stylists and taste-driven consumers. The brand’s assortment includes a full lineup of hair products, but also body care, makeup, and nail polish priced between $14 for travel-sized shampoo to $226 for a hairbrush.

Luxury Brand Partners develops and nurtures prestige artist-driven beauty brands, with a focus on innovation and a passion for the creative mind. With offices in Miami and New York City, their portfolio of companies offers high-performance products and top-of-the-line education informed by both an artistic and a business perspective. Luxury Brand Partners includes R+Co, Smith & Cult, IGK, V76 by Vaughn, and Pulp Riot.

Kao Salon Division is part of the Kao Beauty Care Business Division offering salon-exclusive products and services to stylists around the globe. It is a thought and trend leader in the professional hair care industry as well as the home of the Goldwell and KMS brands. The mission of Kao Salon Division is to enrich the lives of stylists, salon owners, and their clients through partnership, salon business growth, and a salon-exclusive portfolio of advanced services, innovative products, and inspiring education.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Oribe is a stellar brand and a perfect fit for the Kao Salon Division portfolio,” said Cory Couts, Global President, Kao Salon Division. “And Daniel will be an exciting and inspiring addition to our management team. Daniel’s appointment not only guarantees the continuity of all that is extraordinary about Oribe but is also a progression of our company’s mission to appeal to the most artistic and business-minded salon professionals in the world.”

“Kao is the ideal place for Oribe Hair Care to take the next step in its transformative journey,” said Kaner. “I have a deep respect for their organization and talented leadership team. Our friendship and business relationship goes back years, most successfully with the strategic alliance in the United States between Oribe and Goldwell Color. We have always believed that hair care should be an immersive and luxury experience, and Kao is incredibly supportive of the high standard that we set for ourselves.”

“With its focus on luxury products, Oribe will meet the need for a prestige line in the Kao Salon product mix,” continued Couts. “And, the extensive global distribution network of Kao Salon Division will enable Oribe to expand internationally.”

“It is a bittersweet moment to say goodbye to a brand that Oribe Canales, Daniel Kaner and I founded and created almost ten years ago,” said Tevya Finger, CEO of Luxury Brand Partners. “I am extremely proud of what Oribe Hair Care has been able to accomplish since its inception, and I look forward to watching Kao develop the brand on a global scale.”


  • The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • According to WWD, industry sources estimated Kao will pay between $400 million and $430 million for the brand.
  • Sources estimated Oribe has between $85 million and $100 million in sales, with $30 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
  • Oribe is said to have about $30 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.
  • Oribe will join the Kao Salon Division portfolio of professional brands, including Goldwell and the KMS.
  • Daniel Kaner, co-founder and currently co-president of Oribe Hair Care, will be named president of the newly acquired entity.
  • Oribe Canales indicated he plans to be part of the Oribe team going forward.
  • The Oribe business will remain under current management, based in New York City and reporting to Kao Salon Division.
  • This is the second divestment for Luxury Brand Partners, following its sale of Becca to Estée Lauder  in 2016.
  • Luxury Brand Partners plans to reinvest the money from the Oribe sale into making new, artist-driven brands.
  • The Sage Group, LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor to Oribe Hair Care.


WHO: Leaving careers in corporate America, Boulder-based Goddess Garden was founded by husband and wife duo Paul Halter in Nova Covington, CO, in 2004. Nova and Paul, influenced by the birth of their first daughter, Paige, who was allergic to the chemicals in traditional bath and cosmetic products, felt the skincare industry needed to change. Nova, with an herbalist background, and Paul, with a nutrition science degree, decided to develop safe skincare solutions. Today the products can be found in 22,000 doors such as Whole Foods, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Sprouts, Wegmans, and other natural-oriented retailers in the US and Canada.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Renewal Funds is a mission venture capital firm investing in early growth stage companies in Canada and the United States. 

WHY: The company is planning to use this round to fund more product development.


  • Goddess Garden has closed a Series B round from Renewal Funds. 
  • Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • According to BizWest the brand’s revenue topped $6 million in 2016 and is estimated to eclipse $10 million in 2017.
  • The brand raised $2MM in a Series A from Renewal Funds in December 2016.


WHO: Expressions Parfumées was launched in 1982 and is based in the historic home of scent, Grasse, France. The business is committed to using natural ingredients in the creation of their scents, resulting in a unique know-how in the capacities of naturals, and is the first fragrance house to obtain the French Origin Guaranteed label.

The brand has distribution throughout Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. 

Givaudan is based in Vernier, Switzerland, and is the largest fragrance and flavors supplier in the world. Currently present in all major markets, Givaudan strives to deliver fragrances for personal, home, and laundry care, as well as prestige perfumes. Customers benefit from Givaudan’s expertise in three business areas: Fine Fragrances, Consumer Products, and Fragrance and Cosmetic Ingredients.

WHY: This transaction is in line with Givaudan’s 2020 strategy to expand the capabilities of its fragrance business.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Gilles Andrier, CEO of Givaudan, said in a release, “Acquiring Expressions Parfumées will fit nicely with our 2020 strategy to expand our presence with local and regional customers, and grow our capabilities in natural ingredients. Next year marks Givaudan’s 250 years of heritage deeply rooted in Grasse with distinguished perfumery dynasties such as Roure and Chiris. This acquisition will be a wonderful way to come back to our origins in Grasse, a region that has always been close to our hearts and our history.”

Maurizio Volpi, President of Givaudan’s Fragrance Division, said in the same release, “Expressions Parfumées will bring to Givaudan a true expertise in managing the fast-growing segment of smaller customers. We will also enrich our respective palettes of ingredients, where they will bring additional expertise in naturals while Givaudan will share its large number of exclusive molecules and technologies.”


  • Terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
  • Expressions Parfumées’ business would have represented approximately EUR 56.6 million of incremental sales to Givaudan’s results in 2016 on a pro forma basis.
  • Givaudan plans to fund the transaction from existing resources.
  • The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018.


WHO: Scottsdale-based brand PCA Skin is a leader in medical-grade in-office and take-home skincare products, and has strong support from dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aestheticians.

Michael Lorrain joined the business from L’Oréal’s Active Cosmetics Division as chief executive officer of PCA. The business also hired Chris Payne as chief marketing officer in 2016.

EltaMD is a leading physician-dispensed sun care brand with a unique positioning around broad-spectrum, everyday use, physician-dispensed sunscreen.

Colgate-Palmolive is a leading global consumer products company, tightly focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition. Colgate sells its products in over 200 countries and territories around the world under internationally recognized brand names. 

WHY: These acquisition reflects a by Colgate-Palmolive to focus on its higher-margin oral care, personal care and pet nutrition businesses.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Colgate’s Chairman, President and CEO Ian Cook commented, “PCA Skin and EltaMD form an exciting combination for Colgate’s entry into the professional skin care category. We are delighted that these high-growth, high-margin brands will strengthen our global personal care business. Their complementary product portfolios and sales forces, strong professional support and similar distribution channels will advance Colgate’s presence in the premium global skin care category. Furthermore, these businesses will benefit from Colgate’s decades long legacy of working with professional experts to deliver recommendations that benefit their patients.”


  • The terms of the deals have not been disclosed.
  • Both transactions are currently expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Estimated 2017 net sales for PCA Skin and EltaMD combined approximate $100 million.
  • Both brands are similar in size and are primarily sold through professional skincare channels and online.
  • PCA Skin has been backed by Norwest Venture Partners for roughly five years.
  • EltaMD was acquired by Prairie Capital as part of the private equity firm’s 2012 acquisition of Swiss-American Products.
  • Colgate plans to continue to operate the brands independently after closing.
  • Wells Fargo Securities advised Colgate on the acquisition of EltaMD. Financo advised PCA.


WHO: In 1906, the Fung family began selling porcelain, silk, and fireworks from a trading post and came to embody Hong Kong’s importance as the bridge from China’s factories to the world in 2015. Li & Fung is considered one of the world’s top global supply chain partners to consumer brands and retailers. 

WHY: The move is aimed at further simplifying its business and focus on core competencies.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Spencer Fung, group CEO of Li & Fung, told WWD, “The strategic divestment of the product verticals allows Li & Fung to focus on its core competencies and further strengthens our capital structure. The $1.1 billion proceeds will allow us to pay a generous dividend to our shareholders and the remaining $580 million of cash will give us more financial flexibility as we continue to execute our Three-Year Plan goal of building an end-to-end digital supply chain. Our first-half results were solid and our customers and vendor partners are responding very positively to our new digital solutions. We are very excited to be creating a future supply chain that does not yet exist in the market.”

John Zhao, chairman and CEO of private equity firm Hony Capital, commented on the deal, “We look forward to working with the management teams of the product verticals to sharpen their distinct strategies. With our value-added services, future success lies in going deeper into their respective product categories.”


  • Li & Fung divests of furniture, sweater, and beauty verticals for $1.1 billion to a buyer consortium composed of Hony Capital, one of China’s biggest private equity firms, along with Fung Holdings 1937 Limited and Fung Investments Limited.
  • Private equity firm Hony Capital will take a 45% stake, Fung Holdings 1937 Limited will have a 45% and Fung Investments Limited FIL will maintain a 10% stake.
  • Revenue for the sweaters, furniture, and beauty verticals was $1.87 billion for the year ended September 30. The categories have seen a downward trend. In 2016, it registered $92 million in core operating profit and the year before that $103 million.
  • A special dividend of $520 million will be offered in cash to shareholders, while the remaining $580 million will be reinvested back into the company.
  • Fung Holdings 1937 Limited and Fung Investments Limited are both controlled by Li & Fung’s founding Fung family.
  • Li & Fung will continue to operate in the areas of supply chain solutions, logistics, and onshore wholesale business.


Huda Kattan becomes the first beauty influencer to receive investment from a traditional beauty investor with  minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. Kattan has also established HB Investments to make seed-level investments and provide advice to beauty and wellness entrepreneurs through a program called Huda Beauty Angels. 

WHO: Dubai-based Huda Kattan started Huda Beauty in 2013 with a line of false eyelashes, which has evolved into a full makeup range with global distribution with retail partners like Sephora, Cult Beauty, Selfridges, and Harrods. Founder and CEO Huda Kattan was named a 2017 top beauty influencer by Forbes. She was also named one of Time’s most influential people on the internet.

TSG Consumer Partners is a leading investment firm with approximately $5 billion of assets under management, focused exclusively on the branded consumer sector. Since its founding in 1987, TSG has been an active investor in the food, beverage, restaurant, beauty, personal care, household, apparel & accessories, and e-commerce sectors. Past and present beauty partner companies include Revolve, Smashbox Cosmetics, Pureology, Sexy Hair, e.l.f. Cosmetics, and IT Cosmetics.

WHY: The investment is expected to support expansion.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Huda, founder and CEO of Huda Beauty said, “TSG understands exactly who we are as a brand and values our authenticity and close relationship with our customer. Huda Beauty has evolved from our beginnings as a nimble startup, and now enjoys sustained, exponential growth and we trust TSG to help us build on this momentum by expanding product assortments and distribution in the most thoughtful way. Our mission remains the same, and that is to make beauty something that everyone feels they are a part of—I want to tickle everyone’s beauty bone!”

Mona Kattan, a partner in Huda Beauty, said, “I believe I speak for myself, Huda, Alya and Chris, when I say that we are confident we found an amazing partner in TSG, given their compelling impact in the consumer and beauty industry. Upon meeting them, it was very clear that TSG believed in our mission and was the most prepared to take us into our next chapter. We are truly excited to be working with them and feel that above all else they understand and value what makes a brand special—our team.”

“We feel incredibly honored to partner with Huda Kattan and her team,” said Colin Welch, Managing Director at TSG. “We’ve invested in the beauty sector for over ten years and have seen a marked shift in the way consumers engage with brands. Consumers today want an authentic connection with a founder and to feel as though they are part of something much larger than themselves. Huda’s unprecedented social community enables them to do just that.”

Hadley Mullin, Senior Managing Director at TSG, added, “Huda Beauty’s unrivaled digital reach, global influence and best-in-class product offering help women worldwide look and feel their best every day. We are thrilled to join forces with Huda Beauty, which is poised for significant global expansion, fueled by Huda’s passion and commitment to her ever-expanding consumer community.”

Huda added, “I am also grateful that this new partnership enables me to start something I am excited about—the creation of HB Investments, a fund that will facilitate new beauty and wellness businesses. Our program will be called Huda Beauty Angels and we will lend seed money, mentoring and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, because we know that, without a plan, money does not guarantee a successful business.”


  • Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
  • According to WWD, industry sources estimate Huda Beauty will do $200 million in retail sales for 2017.
  • In October WWD reported Huda Beauty hired Financo to consider a minority deal.
  • The brand was started by Kattan and her family, including sisters Mona and Alva, and her husband, Christopher Goncalo, all of whom remain involved in the business.
  • Financo acted as financial advisor to Huda Beauty and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP acted as legal advisor.
  • Moelis & Company acted as financial advisor to TSG and Ropes & Gray LLP acted as legal advisor.


WHO: Portland-based personal care line Schmidt’s Naturals, founded in 2010 by Jamie Schmidt, began as a deodorant line with with the mission to “change the way you think about deodorant.” The business has expanded its offerings to include bar soap and toothpaste but remains best known for its award-winning deodorant formulas that are plants and minerals. Its most popular scents include Charcoal + Magnesium, Rose + Vanilla, and Lavender + Sage.

Dutch conglomerate Unilever PLC was incorporated on June 21, 1894. The company’s segments include personal care, foods, home care, and refreshments. The company operates in more than 100 countries, selling its products in more than 190 countries. Unilever owns more than 400 brands including 11 “billion-dollar brands.”

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Schmidt’s Naturals is a strong, innovative brand in the fast-growing natural category, and nicely complements our existing portfolio of US deodorants, which includes leading brands Degree, Axe, and Dove,” Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, said. “The brand’s focus on transparency and mission to make natural products accessible to everyone aligns closely with Unilever values, and represents an exciting category expansion for our family of brands.”

Alan Jope, President, Unilever Personal Care, added, “Schmidt’s Naturals is a great strategic fit for our Personal Care business, allowing us to reach new consumers who prefer natural options. We look forward to utilizing our Personal Care leadership to extend Schmidt’s Naturals into new sales channels and geographies.”

“Today is a momentous day in the history of Schmidt’s Naturals as we announce our joining of the Unilever family of brands,” Schmidt said. “Thanks to our community, what started humbly in my kitchen and local farmers’ markets has grown into homes worldwide. I am proud to say that as a result of our partnership with Unilever, we are better positioned than ever in our mission to make natural products accessible to all. Moreover, Unilever’s substantive actions towards creating a more sustainable and equitable future for diverse peoples across the planet further fuels the enthusiasm behind our alliance.”

Michael Cammarata, Co-founder and CEO, Schmidt’s Naturals, said, “As long as I can remember, I’ve had one dream—to build and be part of a meaningful company that would help change the world and empower people everywhere to live their best lives. Today, Schmidt’s Naturals and Unilever are coming together to bring natural products to the world in new and innovative ways. Through our partnership, we look forward to Unilever taking Schmidt’s Naturals to new heights and cementing the brand’s mission.”


  • Unilever acquires Schmidt’s Naturals.
  • Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 
  • According to WWD, the business is said to have about $45 million in sales and be on track to double this year.
  • In November, WWD reported Schmidt’s Naturals had hired Goldman Sachs to conduct a sale process.
  • Co-founders Jamie Schmidt and Michael Cammarata will continue to be involved with the brand


WHO: Founded in 2017, Prose is a collaborative beauty brand, powered by artificial intelligence. Founded by former L’Oréal executives Catherine TaurinArnaud PlasNicolas Mussat, and Paul Michaux, Prose empowers hair stylists to create fresh and personalized hair care for their clients using a proprietary diagnostics app, the highest-quality ingredients, made-to-order manufacturing, and direct-to-consumer delivery.

WHY: Funds from the Series A are earmarked for research and continued building of Prose’s US team.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “With an experienced group of investor partners by our side, we’re thrilled to be able to build Prose and offer a true and unique salon-quality experience,” Arnaud Plas, co-founder and CEO of Prose said in a press release. “We’re reinventing the way that stylists retail products by enabling them to co-create the unique hair care solutions that their clients need. With Prose, salons and stylists can now grow sustainable retail businesses with made-to-order products that can’t be found elsewhere.”

“The team at Prose is in a unique position to unveil the discord between salons and manufacturers of traditional hair care brands,” said Kirsten Green, founder and managing director of Forerunner Ventures. “Traditional professional-quality products, which have been commoditized, can now regain their value through the power of custom-made. With a proven track record of excellence, Arnaud, Paul, Nicolas, and Catherine bring years of expertise to reinvent the US market.”


  • Prose raised $5.2 million Series A. This round was led by Forerunner Ventures, with participation from Correlation Ventures.
  • The brand raised a $1.8MM seed round led by Red Sea Ventures with participation from Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Maveron, and ISAI in November 2017.
  • The shampoo is priced between $28 and $38 for 8.5 oz. Personalization is expensive and the items are not yet priced for profitability.
  • The brand had a beta launch in October with 10 partner salons in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The service is now open to salons and stylists nationwide.


WHO: MyChelle Dermaceuticals is based in Louisville, CO, and is a leading marketer of natural skincare sold in the natural grocery channel as well as Kohl’s. The brand’s products provide highly concentrated, active dermatological ingredients with clean and conscious formulations. 

Encore Consumer Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm focused on the consumer products industry. The firm targets companies with between $10 million and $100 million in annual revenues where Encore’s strong operating expertise in strategy development, brand marketing, and distribution expansion can help drive performance. Beauty brands Butter London, Lorac are currently in the portfolio. 

French Transit acquires and develops personal care brands. The current brand portfolio consists of Crystal, a line of natural deodorants, and Luster Premium White, a line of beauty-focused teeth-whitening products. French Transit’s products are sold in natural, food, drug, and mass retailers globally. 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Scott Sellers, Managing Director of Encore Consumer Capital, said in a release, “It has been a great pleasure for us at Encore to have partnered with the talented team at MyChelle. They have expanded the MyChelle brand beyond the natural channel and have positioned the brand for continued growth.”


  • French Transit International acquired MyChelle Dermaceuticals from Encore Consumer Capital. 
  • Terms of the deal were not reported
  • According to industry sources MyChelle has roughly $15 million in sales.
  • WWD reported that MyChelle hired Threadstone Capital to look for a buyer.
  • MyChelle was sold by Encore Consumer Capital, the same private equity firm that backed Tarte before its sale to Kosé in 2014.
  • Buyer French Transit owns teeth-whitening brand Luster White, as well as natural deodorant brand Crystal, and is also backed by private equity firm Juggernaut Capital Partners. 
  • Threadstone Advisors provided strategic and financial advisory services to MyChelle.
  • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP acted as legal counsel to MyChelle.


WHO: NEST Fragrances was founded in 2008 by fragrance authority Laura Slatkin. Today, NEST Fragrances produces more than 20 home fragrance collections consisting of luxury scented candles, reed diffusers, liquid soap, and hand lotion. In 2012, the company launched the NEST Fine Fragrances Collection, which today consists of eight fragrances available in eau de parfum sprays, roller balls, and luxury body cream. The brand’s distribution is primarily in North America through a growing wholesale customer network of luxury specialty department stores, beauty product stores, boutique stores, and spas, and the company’s website.

Eurazeo is a leading global listed investment company based in Paris and New York with a diversified portfolio of approximately $8 billion in assets under management. The firm covers a broad spectrum of private equity strategies through its five business divisions: Eurazeo Capital, Eurazeo Croissance, Eurazeo PME, Eurazeo Patrimoine, and Eurazeo Brands. NEST Fragrance marks the debut investment for Eurazeo Brands, the firm’s fifth investment division launched in May 2017 to invest in consumer and retail brands with global growth potential.

Tengram Capital Partners is a private equity firm that invests in companies in the branded consumer products and retail space and acts as a catalyst to drive growth. Its current beauty portfolio includes Algenist, specialty beauty retailer Cos Bar, and natural beauty brand This Works. Prior investments include DevaCurl and Laura Geller Beauty

WHY: The firm’s majority investment, along with a minority investment from Slatkin, will be used to diversify product offerings, build consumer awareness, and expand across retail and digital channels. 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Matthew Eby, co-founder and Managing Partner of Tengram, commented in a release, “NEST is an incredibly strong and dynamic brand that enjoys a fervent and loyal consumer following. NEST’s stunning growth story would not have been possible without the hard work and expertise of Nancy and the entire NEST team, who transformed the brand Laura founded almost a decade ago into one of the most recognizable and respected independent luxury fragrance brands. We are proud to have been part of the evolution of the Company from a predominately private-label business to a market-leading brand in the home and fine fragrance categories. Eurazeo Brands will make a great future partner for NEST.”

“We are delighted to partner with Laura and Nancy to accelerate NEST’s growth across product categories, channels and geographies,” said Jill Granoff, CEO of Eurazeo Brands. “The company’s successful track record to date and global growth prospects make NEST Fragrances the ideal first investment for Eurazeo Brands. NEST has developed a very strong brand that resonates with a broad consumer base driven by its compelling fragrances, distinctive packaging, and accessible luxury positioning.”

“The chemistry and shared vision with Eurazeo was undeniable,” added Slatkin. “Our new partnership brings together seasoned experts, many with over 25 years of experience in developing global luxury brands. I have tremendous respect for Jill Granoff and Virginie Morgon, Eurazeo’s Deputy CEO, and we are excited to tap into their expertise for our next chapter of growth.”


  • Eurazeo Brands acquires a majority investment in NEST Fragrances for about $70 million according to PE Hub.
  • Founder and Executive Chairman Laura Slatkin is reinvesting in the business as part of the deal.
  • Industry sources told WWD the brand will do between $70 million and $80 million in retail sales for 2017, up from between $60 million and $70 million for 2016.
  • It was reported in March 2017 that NEST had hired investment bank Moelis to run a sale process. 
  • Tengram invested in NEST in 2012 when it purchased control of the company from its founder, Laura Slatkin.
  • Slatkin will continue in her role as Founder and Executive Chairman and Nancy McKay will continue to be Chief Executive Officer of NEST Fragrances.
  • Eurazeo has previously made investments on the supply side with beauty manufacturer Intercos (sold to L Catterton) and Iberchem, a fragrance and flavors supplier. NEST is the firm’s first branded beauty deal.
  • Moelis & Company LLC served as financial advisor and Dechert LLP served as legal counsel to NEST.


WHO: QMS Medicosmetics is a leading German premium skincare brand, founded and formulated by former facial surgeon Dr. med Erich Schulte. The range consists of 35 scientifically advanced, high-performance products  and proprietary spa treatments. The brand was launched in 1986 and has over 600 points of distribution globally. QMS is predominantly found in the spa channel and select retailers such as Liberty in London and KaDeWe in Berlin.

BlueGem Capital Partners LLP is a London-based mid-market private equity manager established in 2007 with assets under management of over €500 million, raised from a global investor base. BlueGem’s focus and sector expertise is in branded consumer-facing businesses and strategic distribution platforms (wholesale and retail). The firm is the owner of Liberty of London and became a majority shareholder in Italian luxury home fragrance brand Dr. Vranjes Firenze in July 2017.


  • BlueGem II LP, part of BlueGem Capital Partners, acquired QMS Medicosmetics.
  • BlueGem is building a strong management and commercial team to support the successful growth of the business and to explore the international development opportunities of the brand.
  • Dr. Schulte will continue to be the Brand Ambassador and Head of R&D.


WHO: Founded in 2015 by Alisa Marie Beyer, Coastal Salt & Soul is inspired by her love of the sea and the lifestyle of living by the ocean. The bath and body range consists of  body butters, sugar scrubs, soufflé hand creams, bubble bath, body wash, and limited-edition hand-poured and botanically scented candles.

Celebrate Beauty Brands is a newly formed partnership with Beauty Partners, an exclusive manufacturing, sales, and marketing company for prestige and mass beauty. The new company has been formed to exclusively manage the Coastal Salt & Soul brand. Beauty Partners will retain majority ownership in the new company Celebrate Beauty Brands.

WHY: The acquisition will help accelerate growth of the brand in the specialty bath & body category through an expansion of North American and global distribution.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “I’m confident that this sale is the single best path to provide Coastal Salt & Soul with the necessary resources to continue to fund and scale the business as it enters its next phase of growth,” said Alisa Marie Beyer. “Celebrate Beauty Brands is extremely well positioned to build on our already strong momentum and incredible consumer loyalty through increased customer wins and new retailer partnerships. Bruce and Barry are industry superstars with a deep understanding of the beauty space, with hugely successful launches of several iconic products under their belts, including the Defy & Inspire nail brand at Target, and the first at-home gel manicure system, Red Carpet Manicure. They share the same vision as my team and me for the future of Coastal. The brand is set for amazing things.”

“In three short years, Alisa has created a superstar brand,” remarked Barry Shields, co-founding partner of Beauty Partners, LLC. “Regularly selling out of top-performing SKUs, obtaining numerous consumer and industry awards, Coastal is the exact opportunity we were looking for in the luxury beauty space. They have established a robust retail presence at QVC, as well as their own branded webstore, and with over 300 spas and boutiques. We are eager to get started.”

“With Coastal’s existing portfolio of hugely popular butters, hand creams, and scrubs, as well as the development of new products and scents, we anticipate 2018 revenues between $15-$20 million,” observed Bruce Kowalsky, co-founder of Beauty Partners, LLC. “Together with Alisa and the rest of the team, we’re ready to start product development and innovation on new SKUs and consumer offerings.”


  • Celebrate Beauty Brands, a newly formed subsidiary of Beauty Partners, has acquired Coastal Salt & Soul.
  • Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but projections given by Beauty Brands for 2018 are $15-$20 million.
  • Founder Alisa Marie Beyer, as well as early investors Fredrick Fogelman and Teresa Shultz Fogelman, maintain minority stakes.
  • Effective immediately, the brand’s corporate office will relocate to Hauppauge, New York.
  • Industry veterans Bruce Kowalsky and Barry Shields will take the helm leading the business.
  • Brand creator Alisa Marie Beyer stays on as Chief Innovation Officer.


WHO: Sundial Brands was founded in 1991 by CEO Richelieu Dennis with his college roommate, Nyema Tubman, and mother, Mary Dennis. The company is a leading haircare and skincare company recognized for its innovative use of high-quality and culturally authentic ingredients. Sundial’s brands include SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker and nyakio™.  Sundial has championed inclusive beauty and has served the unmet needs of consumers of color through its robust innovation pipeline, product offerings, and purpose-driven business model. 

Dutch conglomerate Unilever PLC was incorporated on June 21, 1894. The company’s segments include personal care, foods, home care, and refreshments. The company operates in more than 100 countries, selling its products in more than 190 countries. Unilever owns more than 400 brands including 11 “billion-dollar brands.”

WHY: Sundial Brands Community Commerce business model, B Corp and Fair for Life certifications complements the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) to accelerate growth while increasing positive social impact. This acquisition also allows Unilever to speak to the growing multicultural demographic with the authentic portfolio of brands under the Sundial Brands umbrella. 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “The Sundial team has built differentiated and on-trend premium brands serving multicultural and millennial consumers that enhance our existing portfolio,” said Kees Kruythoff, President, Unilever North America in a release. “Sundial is an important addition to our U.S. portfolio of purpose-driven companies, which includes Ben & Jerry’s and Seventh Generation.”

“We are excited to partner with Richelieu and his team to enable Sundial to bring its unique product offerings and community impact to more people around the world,” said Alan Jope, President, Unilever Personal Care. “We look forward to continuing to grow the business and make an even bigger impact on society through Sundial’s community programs.”

“I’ve always wanted Sundial Brands to be an inspiration to other minority-owned companies of how a business against all odds can achieve excellence, have significant social impact in our communities and be successful on a world stage,” said Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO, Sundial Brands. “I am excited Sundial and Unilever have created this partnership, rooted in a purpose-driven ethos, that represents an incredible opportunity to take our Community Commerce economic empowerment and impact model to another level,” Dennis added. “I’ve enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Esi [incoming EVP and COO of Unilever North America Personal Care] and look forward to working with her to continue to change the game in beauty, personal care and community building.”


  • Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • Sundial’s 2017 turnover is expected to be approximately US$240 million.
  • Sundial’s brands include SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, and Madam C.J. Walker.
  • Sundial Brands will operate as a standalone unit within Unilever.
  • According to CEW, in September 2015 Bain Capital took a minority stake in Sundial Brands with a valuation reported to be $700 million, with approximately $200 million in sales.
  • Richelieu Dennis, the brand’s founder, will continue to lead the business as CEO and Executive Chairman.
  • Esi Eggleston Bracey will serve as EVP and COO of Unilever North America Personal Care, beginning Jan. 1, and she will work closely with Dennis to strategize brand growth, strengthen the mission, and advocate for consumer connectivity.


WHO: Launched in 2007, Prolana’s hero product is Nail Optimizer, a one-step solution for restoring and strengthening even the most thin, brittle nails. The product has earned a nearly 5-star rating on Amazon. The Prolana products do not contain toluene or DBP (dibutyl pththalate), a plastic-like compound that has been banned in the EU for many years.

Since its founding ten years ago, Cosmetics LK has had a mission to provide consumers with the best and trendiest products in the beauty and health and personal care categories as a distributor in both the retail and e-commerce channels.

WHY: The acquisition of Prolana will enable Cosmetics LK to connect with more consumers in e-commerce and retail spaces.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We strive to provide both a large inventory and competitive pricing on all products,” Leon Kohn, Owner of Cosmetics LK said in a press release. “Prolana has developed nail care solutions that are safe, reliable and effective—at a reasonable price point that our customers will appreciate. We’re proud to bring the Prolana name on board and help it achieve even greater recognition.”


  • Details of the transaction were not available.
  • Cosmetics LK has bold plans to expand its selection of Prolana products in 2018 by committing additional resources to research and development.


WHO: GlamBox Middle East is a regional subscription and e-commerce business launched in 2012. Founded by  Shant Oknayan, Fares Akkad, Christos Mastoras, and Marc Ghobriel, the Dubai-based startup has grown to be the region’s biggest beauty subscription e-commerce company.

WHY: The Middle East’s e-commerce sector is growing faster than anywhere else in the world, with online sales expected to double to $48.8 billion by 2021, according to BMI Research.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We are proud to have successfully completed a full lifecycle of a startup in the Middle East—ideation, seed funding with our own capital, building a team, market launch in the UAE, VC funding over two rounds, building a great product, scaling the business, international expansion to KSA, and finally exit via acquisition within five years,” the co-founders told Entrepreneur Middle East. “We feel that we succeeded despite tough challenges.”

“The buyer is a KSA consortium of investors that was an existing investor in GlamBox,” add the co-founders. “Seeing the significant growth in the company, the investors expressed interest in acquiring the company. While we have been approached by numerous potential buyers in the last few years, but the current buyers made sense from many perspectives, particularly the fact that they were already involved in GlamBox.”


  • A Saudi Arabia-based consortium of investors has acquired the company. 
  • Details of the transaction were not disclosed, however, former shareholders including founders have all sold their shares. 
  • The business had previously raised over US$4 million in venture capital funding from regional investors  including STC Ventures, MBC Ventures, R&R Ventures, and other KSA investors.


WHO: Native was founded in 2015 by Moiz Ali with a quest to make an effective natural deodorant. In just two and a half years Native has grown into the category leader in the direct-to-consumer space, with reportedly more than a million customers. Native consists of several permanent scents, as well as rotating seasonal ones like pumpkin spice latte or honeycrisp apple and cinnamon. The company currently only sells its product on its own website, and you can purchase deodorants one-off for $12 or you can buy a subscription, which saves you about 17 percent.

WHY: Deodorant brand Secret is already part of the P&G portfolio, but this acquisition will help broaden their category reach to consumers who are looking for products free of certain ingredients or full of natural ones, amid concerns that traditional deodorants may cause cancer. P&G noted Native’s direct-to-consumer model was one of the factors contributing to its decision to buy the brand.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: In a statement, Ali said, “I’ve long admired P&G’s commitment to product innovation and obsession with customer happiness, and I’m excited to leverage their expertise as we continue to grow Native.”

“[Native] really hits a great sweet spot for us,” P&G chief brand officer Marc Pritchard told CNBC. “And it’s online, so it’s a business model that allows us to really get into more of a direct-to-consumer relationship, which is kind of where things are going.”


  • P&G acquired Native for an undisclosed amount.
  • According to WWD, sources said the brand has between $25 million and $30 million in sales.
  • The business recently received $500,000 from Azure Capital Partners.
  • Native has 10 employees, and P&G plans to maintain the company’s current operations.
  • Founder and CEO Moiz Ali will continue to lead the brand from its San Francisco office.


WHO: Heyday is grounded on the premise of making facial services more accessible by taking them out of the spa and capturing a piece of the $6B fragmented facial category that sits between the Spa channel and Salon channel. Heyday has four locations in New York with a fifth door opening soon. 

WHY: Investment will be used to fund more store openings and make the online experience better align with the in-shop experience.


  • Lerer Hippeau led the seed round of $3MM with investment groups Rosecliff Ventures and Kal Vepuri’s Brainchild also participating.


WHO: Retra Holdings is a group of owned and licensed brands with a focus upon the gifting market, which represents over half of its sales. The business owns the Technic, Body Collection, and Man’s Stuff brands. Its primary channel of distribution is High Street retailers and supermarkets such as Boots, Asda, and Matalan. 

Warpaint London is a UK-based color cosmetics business with two divisions: close-out and own-brand. The larger division, own-brand, consists primarily of the Group’s flagship business, W7.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We are very pleased to announce the proposed acquisition of Retra,” Warpaint Joint Chief Executive Officers Sam Bazini and Eoin Macleod said to the Morning Star. “This acquisition will provide Warpaint with access to new customers and suppliers, increased numbers of product development personnel, and additional exposure to the gifting market, an area of increasing focus for Warpaint.”

“The acquisition will help to accelerate Warpaint’s growth both domestically and internationally,” Bazini and Macleod continued. “We look forward to welcoming the Retra team into Warpaint and combining the businesses to derive new opportunities and synergies.”

WHY: The acquisition will be immediately earnings enhancing for Warpaint even before any expected synergies are factored in.


  • Retra Holdings owns the Technic, Body Collection, and Man’s Stuff brands and generated revenue of £17.5 million ($23.05 million) in 2016.
  • According to Fashion Network, 51% of Retra sales last year were gift sets, primarily for big High Street players Boots and Superdrug. The remaining 49% of its business consists of its own brands, including Technic, Body Collection, and Man’s Stuff, as well as the “white label” cosmetics it produces for several High Street retailers including Asda and Matalan.
  • Warpaint will fund the acquisition through a £21.2 million placing and the issue of consideration shares to the vendors of Retra.


WHO: HUM Nutrition was founded in 2012 from the idea that beauty starts on the inside by Walter Faulstroh and Chris Coleridge. The product assortment consists of pills, powders, and drinks that both improve health and the appearance of skin and hair—benefits that, until now, have been mostly restricted to products like lotions and creams. The brand has built a large multichannel business in less then three years, including close relationships with top-tier retailers as well as a strong direct-to-consumer business.

WHY: The additional capital will allow HUM to stay ahead of its competition, ramp up innovation, and add to the team.


  • Circle Up led a $4 million Series A investment debut fund, CircleUp’s CircleUp Growth Partners.
  • Faulstroh told WWD that HUM has been growing about 30% per quarter and is profitable.
  • About 70% of sales are through HUM’s web site, while the rest come from retail distribution like Sephora, Anthropologie, and Nordstrom.
  • Of the nearly 3,400 vitamin and supplement companies tracked by Helio, HUM was in the top 3% based on its brand score.


WHO: Founded in 2016 as a spinoff from Northeastern University’s Synergetic Media Learning Laboratory by scientist and world-renowned AI expert Raymond Fu, Giaran is powered by AI technology, such as computer vision, big data, and augmented reality, and creates novel algorithms of deep learning, data mining, and predictive modeling. Current technology within Giaran includes Makeup Virtual Try On, Tutorials, Color Matching, Personalized Recommendations, Makeup Removal, Face Tracking, and Skin Tone Detection. The technology can be used across mobile, tablet, and desktop as well as through a smart mirror powered by full HD augmented reality.

Shiseido Americas Corporation is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Shiseido Company, Limited. Shiseido Americas’ portfolio of prestige beauty brands includes Shiseido, NARS, Clé de Peau Beauté, bareMinerals, Laura Mercier, and several prestige fragrance brands including Issey Miyake, Narciso Rodriguez, and Dolce & Gabbana. In early 2017, Shiseido Americas acquired MATCHCo, a technology company and JWALK, a creative agency.

WHY: Giaran will leverage its simulation technology across Shiseido’s portfolio and further expand Shiseido’s capabilities in beauty customization, all with the goal of driving consumer engagement and providing an unmatched consumer experience.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Masahiko Uotani, President and Group CEO of Shiseido Company, Limited, said, “Since our founding in 1872, Shiseido has been dedicated to remaining at the forefront of Beauty. Through Giaran’s leading AI technology and our global innovation network, we’re continuing our journey of transforming how people discover and fall in love with products, creating deeply personal connections between our brands and consumers, and building a path to growth with consumers at the center.”

Marc Rey, President & CEO of Shiseido Americas, said, “Raymond and the Giaran team have created truly novel AI technologies for cosmetic applications, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Shiseido family. Building on our acquisition of MATCHCo earlier this year, Giaran will provide Shiseido with immediate expertise and advanced technologies to further expand our digital capabilities, while also allowing for greater consumer intimacy through personalized offerings and enhanced user experiences. We share Giaran’s philosophy that digital is a mindset rather than a tool, and we look forward to bringing more disruptive innovation to reinvent the beauty industry business model.”

Raymond Fu, Founder and President of Giaran, Inc., and a professor at Northeastern University, said, “This is an extremely exciting move for Giaran at a pivotal moment in Beauty. Shiseido shares our belief that in today’s fast-changing market, continuous evolution of product and consumer-centric innovation are key to deepening relationships with consumers and finding new fans. Incubated from an excellent research laboratory at Northeastern University, Giaran has great respect and admiration for Shiseido’s long-held commitment to science and innovation. We are very pleased to be joining such a passionate, talented and creative group of people to shape Shiseido’s technological revolution and the future of Beauty.”


  • Shiseido Americas Corporation has acquired Giaran, Inc., an award-winning, data-driven company with leading technology in artificial intelligence (AI) platforms.
  • Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • Giaran will remain based in Boston, Massachusetts, and will become part of Shiseido’s Makeup Center of Excellence, where it will work closely with Shiseido’s Global Digital Center of Excellence (based in New York) and its global technology team in Tokyo.
  • According to WWD the Giaran deal is something of an acqui-hire—in addition to the technology, Shiseido is gaining Fu, who comes with a network of PhD contacts and will build out his team in the coming months.
  • The company will operate in sync with and supplement MATCHCo, a beauty personalization startup acquired by Shiseido Americas in early 2017.


WHO: Founded in 2005 by Sam Wolf, LuckyVitamin is an industry-leading global e-commerce destination for natural and organic wellness products, information, and support, offering over 40,000 top-branded and private-label products. This mission is to bring good health to the masses and to be the inspirational and supportive source for products and knowledge dedicated to helping everyone on their journey towards happy wellness.

TSG Consumer Partners, LLC is a leading investment firm with approximately $5 billion of assets under management, focused exclusively on the branded consumer sector. Since its founding in 1987, TSG has been an active investor in the food, beverage, restaurant, beauty, personal care, household, apparel, and accessories, and e-commerce sectors.

Founded in 1935, GNC Holdings Inc. is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based specialty retailer of health and wellness products, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplement products, sports nutrition products, and diet products. The company is dedicated to helping consumers live well, has a diversified, multichannel business model, and derives revenue from product sales through company-owned retail stores, domestic and international franchise activities, third-party contract manufacturing, e-commerce, and corporate partnerships. 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “TSG has invested in and nurtured countless world-renowned consumer products brands, including many health and wellness brands, as well as best-in-class e-commerce businesses. They are an ideal partner and I am confident their strategic support will be invaluable as we drive the accelerated growth of our business,” Sam Wolf, Founder and CEO of LuckyVitamin, said in a release. “This Company’s roots date back to the pharmacy my grandfather built more than sixty years ago, and I am excited and proud to be reinvesting in the business that means so much to me. Importantly, we anticipate that this new investment will enable us to expand our reach helping more people to live healthier and support the continued growth of our wonderful partner brands that help make LuckyVitamin a go-to source for customers.”

“Sam is an industry innovator who has built the leading online destination for consumers dedicated to healthy living,” Michael Layman, Managing Director at TSG, said in a release. “Under Sam’s leadership, the Company has grown from a family-owned health food and wellness store into a global e-commerce destination for natural products, and we are thrilled to support the Company’s ongoing mission of helping people maintain a healthy lifestyle. We look forward to working alongside Sam and the rest of the LuckyVitamin team to further enhance the customer experience, strengthen its position in the marketplace, and help drive its next phase of growth to deliver a more premium experience to natural-product consumers around the world.”


  • The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • Imperial Capital, LLC, served as financial advisor to TSG.


WHO: Founded in 1932 and acquired by Shiseido Company, Limited, in 1988, Zotos is located in Darien, CT, and manufactures and markets a full range of hair care, texture service, and hair color products for today’s salons and salon professionals. Their primary focus is North America with a growing emphasis on the European market. The company’s brands include: Joico, VEROK-PAK Color, Lumishine, IColor, ISO Options, AGEBeautiful, Bain de Terre, Quantum, and Vita E.

Shiseido was founded in 1872 as the first Western-style pharmacy in Japan. The business gradually evolved into a cosmetics company, offering people the most advanced technology and the finest aesthetics available in the East or the West. Now known globally as the premier cosmetics company with roots in Japan, the name Shiseido has come to represent the world’s highest standards of quality. Shiseido’s global selection of skincare, makeup, and fragrance includes a high-performance category for special skincare, and a brightening line. Shiseido offers products for professional beauty salons and hairdressers, as well as body care, suncare, and a skincare line for men. Fiercely contemporary and innovative after over 140 years in the business, Shiseido group brands are now sold in over 120 countries and regions.

Henkel operates globally with a diversified portfolio. The company holds leading positions with its three business units Adhesives Technologies, Laundry & Home Care, and Beauty Care thanks to strong brands, innovations, and technologies. Founded in 1876, Henkel has more than 140 years of success.  

WHY: Shiseido has been promoting a selection and concentration strategy in order to enhance its global brand portfolio as part of its VISION 2020 strategy. The acquisition of Zotos by German consumer goods maker Henkel expands its footprint in the US professional hair-care sector.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Masahiko Uotani, President and Group CEO of Shiseido Company, Limited, said in a press release, “The Professional business has been a cornerstone of Shiseido’s heritage since the company opened its first beauty salon in Japan nearly a century ago, and we remain as committed and focused as ever on cultivating and strengthening this key business in the fast-growing Asian markets, including China and Asia Pacific as well as Japan. Henkel’s offer to acquire Zotos provides a great opportunity for our Professional group to concentrate its focus on its core capabilities in Asia.”

Nancy Bernardini, President of Zotos, said, “Shiseido has been an outstanding home for Zotos for almost three decades—as part of Shiseido’s Professional Division, Zotos added even more layers of innovation and artistry to its products and achieved significant milestones, including becoming one of the fastest-growing mid-sized companies in professional beauty. By joining Henkel, we will be taking important steps for the future of our business, focusing on strategic geographic markets that are key to our long-term success while continually invigorating our brands as part of Henkel’s highly complementary portfolio. We are excited to embark on this new chapter.”

“At Henkel, we have strong capabilities to identify compelling acquisition targets with a clear strategic fit and attractive valuations,” Carsten Knobel, chief financial officer of Henkel, told WWD. She has acquired other professional hair businesses in the past, including Sexy Hair, Alterna, and Kenra, as well as Nattura Laboratorios, which owns Pravana.


  • According to WWD, Shiseido Co. Ltd. is selling Zotos International Ltd. to Henkel for $485 million.
  • Annual net sales for Zotos totaled $233 million in the fiscal year ending 2016.
  • The deal is Henkel’s third acquisition in the US hair professional business in recent years, after it bought brands Sexy Hair, Alterna and Kenra in 2014 and last month closed the purchase of Nattura Laboratorios, the owner of brand Pravana.
  • The acquisition of Zotos and Pravana earlier this year will nearly double Henkel’s professional hair market share in North America from 7.7% to 13.6%, ahead of Coty’s 11.1% and ELC’s 8.1% according to Kline Group
  • Data from Kline PRO indicates that Henkel would achieve well over 50% of hair texturizing product sales with the addition of Shiseido’s brands.
  • Shiseido will use the resources gained from this transaction to further pursue its strategic objectives of its “New Strategy to Accelerate Growth” in the next three years of VISION 2020.
  • The transaction is expected to close in December 2017, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.


WHO: Scruples Professional Salon Products, located in Lakeville, Minnesota, was founded 35 years ago by Frank Liguori Sr. and Jack Storey. They are a category leader and innovator in professional color and styling products. 

Beauty Elite Group, located in Houston, Texas, was founded in 1995 by Basim Shami. The company has grown significantly through multiple acquisitions including BlowPro and Fuel Haircare. 


  • Scruples Professional Salon Products Inc and Beauty Elite Group are merging. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • The new entity will be called Scruples Holdings Inc and will located in Lakeville, MN.
  • Partners and stockholders in this venture are key members of the existing Scruples team.
  • Basim Shami will be CEO of the newly formed entity.
  • Tracy Liguori is the Co-President of Marketing and Advertising.
  • Mia Liguori is the Co-President of Creative and International Business. She will continue to be the face of Scruples to the professional hairdresser community.
  • Michael Riley is the Chief Operating Officer.


WHO: Lord & Taylor is considered the oldest US department store, dating back nearly 200 years. English-born Samuel Lord (1803–1889) started a dry goods business in New York in 1824, and opened the original store that would become Lord & Taylor in 1826, on Catherine Street. It was a pioneer in many ways, becoming the first to install an elevator, the first to open a branch location, and the first to hire a woman CEO, Dorothy Shaver, who was instrumental in making it a beacon for American designers in the ’40s and ’50s. The retailer operates around 50 locations. It was acquired by Canada’s Hudson’s Bay in 2012.

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) is a diversified global retailer focused on driving the performance of high-quality stores and their all-channel offerings, growing through acquisitions, and unlocking the value of real estate holdings. Founded in 1670, HBC is the oldest company in North America. HBC’s portfolio today includes formats ranging from luxury to premium department stores to off-price fashion shopping destinations, with more than 480 stores and over 66,000 employees around the world.

WeWork was founded in New York City in 2010 by Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey. The business has raised billions in venture capital since it was started in 2010 and has become one of the world’s richest startups and has a valuation of more than $20 billion. WeWork is a community for creators, providing more than 150,000 members around the world with space, community, and services through both physical and virtual offerings. The business takes on long-term leases for raw office space and builds out the interior with flexible spaces and modern design that it then subleases for terms as short as a month. WeWork currently has more than 170 physical locations in over 56 cities and 18 countries around the world. 

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:  “We pay a lot of attention to not only managing our retail business but to creating value through creative transactions with our real estate,” Hudson’s Bay’s Chairman and interim CEO Richard Baker, whose company also owns Saks Fifth Avenue, told WSJ. He added that there is a future for department stores, but they need to make their space more productive. “Department stores aren’t going anywhere,” Mr. Baker said. “Stores that are well run will be here for a long time.”


  • WeWork property advisors to acquire Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building in a transaction valued at US$850 million.
  • HBC to reduce outstanding debt and/or increase cash by approximately C$1.6B and increase total liquidity by C$1.1B.
  • WeWork formed a joint venture with private-equity firm Rhône Group, which is investing $500 million in convertible preferred shares in Hudson’s Bay, as part of the investment.
  • The Lord & Taylor flagship store is expected to continue operations in the entire building through the 2018 holiday season. Thereafter the building is intended to be converted into WeWork’s New York headquarters and WeWork office space.
  • The plans leave room (about 150,000 square feet) for a downsized Lord & Taylor on the property. 
  • Stikeman Elliott LLP and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP are serving as Canadian and US legal counsel, respectively, to HBC.
  • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and McCarthy Tétrault LLP are serving as US and Canadian legal counsel, respectively, to WeWork Property Advisors and Rhône.
  • BofA Merrill Lynch and RBC Capital Markets are serving as financial advisors to HBC.
  • Morgan Stanley is serving as financial advisor to WeWork Property Advisors and Rhône.


WHO: Madison Reed was founded in 2013 by Amy Errett, a former Maveron partner and a current special adviser to True Ventures. She told WSJ that she left venture investing behind when she realized how hair dyes sold at groceries and pharmacies failed to satisfy demand in a massive US market. Madison Reed is disrupting the $50 billion hair care industry by using technology in creative ways to make the at-home hair color experience a more luxurious, fearless, happy process. The direct-to-consumer line has quickly become recognized as a category leader thanks to a nutrient-rich hair color formula crafted without ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, PPD, phthalates, and gluten—the irritating chemicals typically found in hair color. The brand started as a direct-to-consumer e-commerce player garnering attention for its simple-to-use hair color quiz and mobile app. Last year saw expansion on QVC and in Sephora, but the majority of the company’s sales are still direct-to-consumer, and the company expects to keep it that way.

Comcast Ventures, the venture capital affiliate of Comcast Corporation, invests in innovative businesses that represent the next generation of entertainment, communications, and digital technology by partnering with entrepreneurs who have the vision, passion, and tenacity to succeed. Most investments are in the advertising, consumer, enterprise, and infrastructure sectors. Comcast Ventures provides its portfolio companies with countless resources, relationships, and know-how to help them perform at the highest possible levels.

WHY: This round of capital will be used to fund the company’s current business, and expand its physical footprint: Madison Reed Color Bars—currently in New York City and San Francisco—will open in 25 locations by the end of 2019. Locations will be determined from the data gathered from customers and its database of more than 700,000 email addresses.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Because a large share of consumers don’t want to color their hair at home, the Color Bars were always part of Madison Reed’s business model, Errett told Internet Retailer. “We launched three years ago,” she says. “We spent three years scaling the online business, now we’re seeking to address the rest of the market.”

“We have been a minority investor in Madison Reed and have worked closely with the company on TV and media expansion,” said Sam Landman, managing director, Comcast Ventures, in a release. “We have watched the growth and execution, and we wanted to be a larger investment partner to the company as they scale and add Color Bars to their already fast-growing business. We are delighted to lead this round and look forward to the continued growth and success.”


  • The company raised $25 million in new funding led by Comcast Ventures, an earlier investor, with participation from other previous backers, including Norwest Venture Partners, True Ventures, and Calibrate Ventures.
  • The business will expand the NYC and San Francisco Color Bar locations with a rollout of 25 new outlets by the end of 2019.
  • Previous rounds of funding according to Crunchbase:
    • 4/29/13 Series A $4 million led by True Ventures
    • 1/28/14 Series B $12 million led by Northwest Ventures
    • 9/28/15 Series C $16.1 million led by Shea Ventures
    • 11/1/16 Series C $13 million
    • 3/23/17 Debt Financing $10 million
    • 10/20/17 Series C $25 million led by Comcast Ventures


WHO: With over 500 million app downloads globally, Perfect Corporation is dedicated to transforming how consumers, content creators, and beauty brands interact through their mobile app suite. YouCam Apps, including YouCam MakeupYouCam PerfectYouCam Fun, and YouCam Nails, enhance beauty lovers’ journey by offering users’ top trending selfie makeovers, instant skin diagnostics, one-touch selfie editing, and entertaining animated fun filters. The excitement around the potential for augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize how consumers try and buy beauty products has led to Perfect Corp. partnering with more than 150 global brands, including Estée Lauder, Yves Saint Laurent, L’Oréal Paris, MAC Cosmetics, QVC, and Macy’s.

China Creation Ventures (CCV) was founded by the former KPCB China Managing Partner, Wei Zhou. The fund focuses on early-stage and growth-stage companies in TMT industry in China, including Fintech, Chinese companies going overseas, technology innovation, big data, AI, and pan-entertainment related opportunities. In the past ten years, the team produced a 30%+ unicorn rate.

WHY: The financing will be used to continue the development of the business’ mobile app suite that uses AR and AI to transform how consumers interact with beauty products.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:  “In a little over two years, Perfect Corp. has developed a leadership position in the large, fast-growing and hugely competitive beauty industry,” Zhou Wei, Managing Partner of CCV, said in a press release. “What Alice and her team have achieved in such a short period of time is extraordinary, and our investment reflects the confidence we have that Perfect Corp.’s disruptive technologies will be instrumental in defining a new, better shopping experience for beauty enthusiasts.”

“We are thrilled to be working together with a great group of investors who share our vision of going beyond existing beauty industry models to bring a consumer experience that’s fresh and exciting,” said Alice H. Chang, CEO of Perfect Corp. “Capital investment will drive further development of the cutting-edge applications that have attracted the attention of leading beauty brands, retailers, makeup experts, and media outlets around the world.”


  • Perfect Corp closed a Series A investment of $25 million led by China Creation Ventures and joined by Yuanta Asia Investment, Extol Capital, and CyberLink Corp. 
  • Last month the business hit the half a billion download benchmark.


WHO: Mented (short for “pigmented”) Cosmetics was founded by Harvard Business School classmates Amanda Johnson and KJ Miller. The brand started taking pre-orders for their first products in January 2017 but officially launched in March. Mented is a range of nude lipsticks that is vegan, nontoxic, and formulated especially for women of color. The brand plans to expand into a full range of color cosmetics. 

WHY: The investment will fuel the launch of new products including eye palettes, as well as growing a team and doubling down on marketing.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We really think we’re onto something here at Mented,” Johnson said to Forbes. “Even though women of color have a difficult time raising money, if there’s an underserved market, investors attack it.”


  • This $1MM round of funding came from a mix of VC firms and angel investors including iSeed Ventures; Built by Girls; Corazon Capital; Outbound Ventures; BAM Ventures; and Blue Seed Collective.
  • In March, the founders started the business with $10,000-$15,000 of their own money and hand-making samples.
  • After testing their products they realized the potential of Mented, and were able to subsequently raise a pre-seed round of capital totaling $400,000.
  • The founders of Mented Cosmetics are the 15th and 16th black women ever to raise $1MM capital.


WHO:Stacey Kelly Egide and Mark Egide, founders of Andalou Naturals, have a long track record of success building brands in the natural space. For over 30 years these visionary partners have been creating category-defining brands like Beauty Without Cruelty, Avalon Organics, Alba Botanica, Alba Hawaiian, Sonoma Soap Company, Un-petroleum, and The San Francisco Soap Company.  Andalou Naturals, the first Non-GMO Project Verified beauty brand, has a comprehensive product portfolio and distribution network in North America, Europe, and Asia, with over 125 SKUs sold in more than 15,000 doors including Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, CVS, and Ulta Beauty.

BWX Limited (BWX) is a vertically integrated personal care company with its head office located in Dandenong, South Victoria in the South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne.

WHY: Andalou Naturals is complementary to the existing BWX portfolio and strongly aligned with their goal of becoming a global leader in the natural beauty and personal care markets and will deliver long-term value to shareholders.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Today marks an exciting next chapter and we’re proud to join BWX Ltd with a shared vision for a mission-driven natural business on a global scale,” said co-CEO Mark Egide in a press release.

Stacey Kelly Egide, founder and co-CEO, added in the same release: “When we launched Andalou Naturals it was with the intention to build an empowerment brand with a sustainable source of revenue for social responsibility. Our new partnership with BWX Ltd aligns with our vision, values, and purpose in a meaningful way for future growth.”


  • BWX Limited (Australian Stock Exchange: BWX) has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Andalou Naturals for US $80MM.
  • In addition to the initial consideration, there are potential additional amounts payable up to US$11.2MM over the next 5 years, subject to Andalou Naturals achieving particular financial milestones related to gross profit.
  • Andalou Naturals is expected to generate revenue for FY2018 of US$41MM and pro forma EBITDA of US$8.5MM.
  • Implied multiple of 9.4x EV / FY2018 pro forma forecast EBITDA, or 8.4x including expected annual cost synergies.
  • The key management of Andalou Naturals have committed to the business for the next 4 years.
  • The acquisition broadens and diversifies BWX’s distribution footprint across geographies and channels, with the combined business having a strong presence in key retailers across Australia, the UK, the US, and Canada.


WHO: British makeup brand Illamasqua was founded in 2008 by marketing guru Julian Kynaston to reflect his passion for subcultures. With no previous beauty experience, he’s built a brand that pushes the envelope on convention and is known for its bold, playful, theatrical style of makeup. In 2002, punk royalty Joseph Corré, the son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, joined the brand as co-owner. The brand has stores in Leeds, Liverpool, and London and also offers makeup courses within the Illamasqua School of Make-up Art in London.  

WHY: THG has made their intention of becoming the largest online retailer of health and beauty clear. This transaction is one more step to that goal.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “I am delighted we are adding Illamasqua to The Hut Group’s growing portfolio of beauty brands,” Matthew Moulding, founder and chief executive officer of The Hut Group, told Retail Week. “We saw a business with a unique proposition and an opportunity to take a strong and dynamic brand to the next level. We are confident that we will deliver significant growth and further extend Illamasqua’s global customer base.”

Kynaston of Illamasqua said the brand had been working with The Hut Group for over a year “and have seen great successes, so this move was a natural step for the brand. Finding the right partner, with whom we could align our vision for the future, was of crucial importance, and I’m in no doubt that The Hut Group’s digital strength and marketing expertise will take Illamasqua to the next level.”


  • The terms of the deal were not disclosed but the deal is rumored to be worth £25MM.
  • Joseph Corré, a founder of the lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, joined the brand as co-owner in 2010 and is backed by around eight investors.
  • Illamasqua will join the Hut Group’s growing stable of beauty brands that already includes ESPA, Glossybox, Mio Skincare, Grow Gorgeous, and


WHO: Founded by millennial Cashmere Nicole and tapping into the desires of a largely millennial demographic, Beauty Bakerie has gained a strong online following by engaging a like-minded tribe with a sweet tooth for makeup. A digitally native brand, they’ve garnered a massive Instagram following of over 400,000 users not just by enhancing the customer experience and prioritizing engagement, but more importantly, by doing so with positive messaging and altruistic donations to social causes their customers care most about. Beauty Bakerie is disrupting the industry with high-quality and worry-free formulas based on the proposition of being “Better not Bitter.”

WHY: Beauty Bakerie will utilize the investment to further develop its product offering and to continue to grow its consumer base. Beauty Bakerie will be launching in 10 doors of Forever 21’s new chain Riley Rose, on QVC UK, HSN, in Sephora SEA, and in 40 of Wojooh’s doors in the UAE and KSA by Q4 2017.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We are extremely honored, fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to partner with such exceptional investors whose proven track records can only lend to the growth of this brand and to the growth of our team,” says Cashmere Nicole.

“Beauty Bakerie’s story is one of perseverance and survival, led by a truly passionate and creative CEO. Cashmere has built an all-star team that will continue to be disruptive and innovative in the cosmetics space and I am thrilled to be joining them in their journey,” says Kenneth Chennault, Chief Executive Officer of American Express.

Anna Ohlsson-Baskerville, Director at Unilever Ventures said: “We have been impressed by Beauty Bakerie’s ecommerce-led model and consistent digital growth as well as the strong engagement of the brand’s millennial consumer base. I look forward to working with Cashmere and the management team to build upon the company’s momentum and many growth opportunities.”


  • Beauty Bakerie closed a $3MM seed round led by Unilever Ventures and joined by institutional investors 645 Ventures and Blue Consumer Capital.
  • Notable individual investors include Kenneth Chennault (CEO of American Express), Adebayo Ogunlesi (Chairman & Managing Partner at Global Infrastructure Partners and Lead Director at Goldman Sachs), William M. Lewis (Managing Director and Co-Chairman of Investment Banking at Lazard Ltd.), and Charles Phillips (Former Co-President of Oracle Corporation & Current CEO of Infor).
  • The brand’s products are sold in over 100 countries including the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Brazil.


WHO: Aquis is run by husband-and-wife team Britta Cox and Suveen Sahib. Britta launched the first high-tech towel that blends science and technology with effortless simplicity. The brand believes women invest too much time, effort, and money on their hair care, with suboptimal outcomes. Hair care ought to be simpler, faster, and more sustainable. They are engineering hair care solutions that protect the natural integrity of the hair and help it stay healthy. Women are sharing their transformational stories of healthy and beautiful hair, fueling the company’s growth.

Co-founders and Co-chairmen Bill Guthy and Greg Renker launched Guthy Renker in 1988 and have been credited with transforming the broadcast direct marketing industry, being historically invested in beauty companies in addition to building its own. They have discovered and developed dozens of consumer products.

WHY: The funding will allow the brand to execute on the future expansion they have been laying the groundwork for over the past 18 months. The business plans to launch a hair care system in 2018.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS:  “This move underlines Guthy Renker’s focus on expanding into new beauty categories and acting on consumer trends,” Richard Odum, Chief Executive Officer of Guthy Renker, told WWD. “Aquis’ passion for quality and its mission-based outlook make for a highly successful brand. The brand’s path to scale is clearly defined and will benefit from Guthy Renker’s expertise in direct to consumer marketing across the e-tail, TV, retail and home shopping channels.”


  • Aquis has raised $4 million total in seed funding.
  • Industry sources according to WWD estimated the business will have about $5 million in sales for 2017, but that number is expected to climb to between $25 million and $30 million for 2018.
  • Aquis has also established a board that includes Clarisonic’s Dr. Robb Akridge and Blythe Jack (a personal investor).


WHO: Tatcha is a luxury beauty brand founded by Victoria Tsai in 2009. While in Kyoto, Tsai discovered the timeless beauty rituals of Japan, beloved for centuries and practiced even today. Through her research, she unearthed a 200-year-old beauty manuscript detailing the rituals made popular by geishas. “Tatcha” refers to the Japanese word for “standing flower” and is the inspiration for the company’s pure and simple approach to effective skincare without harmful additives or unnecessary ingredients.

Castanea Partners is a middle-market, consumer-focused private equity firm founded by operating executives and private equity professionals. They partner with promising small and mid-sized consumer product and services brands, including companies in lifestyle apparel and accessories, beauty and personal care, food and beverage, and outdoor and leisure. They typically invest between $15 to $150 million of equity in businesses where they have investing and operating expertise. Castanea has approximately $1 billion under management and is currently investing from a $600 million fourth fund.


“Tatcha stands out for its high-quality products and authentic brand heritage,” said Steve Berg, a Managing Partner at Castanea. “We look forward to working with Vicky and the team to support the company’s growth.”

“We’re honored to work with Castanea because of their unique experience in building luxury brands in beauty and beyond,” said Vicky Tsai, Tatcha’s CEO. “Steve and Janet are star players in the beauty industry and have a reputation for being great partners. We are also deeply grateful to Financo for bringing us together, and to Vennette Ho for her tireless work to help us find our perfect match.”

“We believe that Castanea is the right thought partner to build a luxury, digitally driven brand for the future,” added Brad Murray, Tatcha’s President.  

“This is a very exciting investment for us,” said Janet Gurwitch, Operating Partner at Castanea, and former founder and CEO of Laura Mercier. “The company is at a stage in its development where our deep industry and operating expertise will add value as Tatcha pursues its global growth potential.”  


  • Castanea made a minority investment in Tacha.
  • Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • Janet Gurwitch and Steve Berg will be joining Tatcha’s board of directors.
  • Financo and Mintz Levin represented Tatcha.
  • Ropes & Gray represented Castanea.


Debenhams makes the first investment related to their Redesigned strategy, taking a minority stake for a £7.5MM ($10MM) investment in the UK’s largest on-demand beauty services provider Blow Ltd. The exclusive UK partnership enables the retailer to ramp up its presence in the £4B market.

WHO: blow LTD was co-founded by Fiona McIntosh (ex-Editor-in-Chief of Grazia and ELLE) and Dharmash Mistry in 2013. The business offers blowouts, makeup, and nails to the client’s door (home, office, hotel, or event) or in their flagship beauty bars. Their plans for expansion will secure their position as the clear UK market leader in on-demand beauty services.

Debenhams opened in 1778 when William Clark established a drapers store at 44 Wigmore Street in London’s West End selling expensive fabrics, bonnets, gloves, and parasols. Today Debenhams is a leading international, multichannel brand which trades out of over 240 stores across 27 countries. The retailer was acquired by Baroness Retail Ltd. in 2003 and returned to the London Stock Exchange in May 2006.

WHY: This investment gives Debenhams a disruptive proposition in the large but fragmented beauty services market via a tech-enabled premium service provider. It also creates a new distribution channel for the department store. Beauty services and treatments can now be booked at home, as well as in dedicated beauty bars in Debenhams stores. For blow LTD the partnership provides them a brick-and-mortar ramp-up.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Debenhams chief executive, Sergio Bucher, commented in the Express: “The step is a strategic move which ties into multiple facets of our Debenhams Redesigned strategy. This will allow us to scale up our beauty services offer rapidly and bring brands closer to customers both in store and in their own homes. blow LTD’s exclusive presence in Debenhams stores will give customers even more reasons to visit us and the digital app booking service fits with our aim to offer customers a seamless mobile experience.”

“Through partnering with blow LTD Debenhams can adopt an entrepreneurial approach to a growing market, acquiring external expertise with flexibility and low overhead commitments,” Dharmash Mistry, chairman and co-founder of blow LTD, said. “Our partnership with Debenhams will turbo charge growth and awareness of blow LTD by accessing the vibrant and loyal customer base of a UK market leader. This move accelerates our ambition to bring expert beauty services to customers in key regional cities across the UK, either in their homes or in Debenhams stores. We are excited to join forces with Debenhams to reinvent the fragmented, multi-billion pound beauty services market.”


  • Debenhams makes a £7.5MM ($10MM) investment in blow LTD.
  • Debenhams will hold a minority stake and join the board of blow LTD.
  • The first three blow LTD “beauty bars” offering blow dry, make up and nail services, will launch in Debenhams Oxford Street, Birmingham Bull Ring, and Manchester stores this autumn, with more locations to follow.
  • blow LTD has already experienced rapid growth, delivering over 150,000 beauty services, with over 300+ vetted professionals yielding a satisfaction score of more than 95%.
  • blow LTD secured a $4.5 million investment from Unilever Ventures in May.
    Prior to the Debenhams investment, the total raised to date is $10.47 million from three investors.
  • Last year, June 2016, the company raised £1,345,530 from over 300 investors with a follow-on round in February 2017 through the UK-based equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs.
  • According to Startups UK, Seedrs shareholders have now been offered the opportunity to sell shares as part of a secondary share deal.This means that some early Seedrs investors will have the opportunity to sell their shares at up to three times their purchase share price.
  • Last November blow LTD acquired Return To Glory, another UK-based residential mobile beauty business.
  • Debenhams Redesigned strategy detailed its mission to “make shopping confidence boosting, sociable and fun” with plans for growth that include the intention to create a £1B business in beauty and beauty services.
  • The 164-store chain saw profits falling more than 6% when it reported its latest set of results this spring.

Additional Transactions:

Skinvisible, Inc. has announced a proposed merger with Quoin Pharmace­uticals Limited, a specialty pharmace­utical company.

DSM and Zhejiang Haixing Investment Co. Ltd acquired a majority equity stake in Inner Mongolia Rainbow Biotechnology Co. Ltd.

MJS Packaging has acquired Omaha-based Riekes Container.

Québec-based Knowlton Development Corporation (KDC), a contract manufacturer of health and personal care, has acquired Northern Labs, Inc, a full-service liquid product contract manufacturer Wisconsin.

DSM has acquired Amyris Brasil Ltd along with the establishment of a long-term manufacturing partnership for Amyris’ products to help improve the DSM and Amyris partnership.

Cosmax acquires cosmetics manufacturer Nuworld.

GPack, formerly known as Cartotecnica Goldprint, has signed an agreement to acquire Alliora Coffrets from Oaktree Capital Management.

Québec-based contract manufacturer of health and beauty products Knowlton Development Corporation (KDC)acquired Aromair Fine Fragrance Company which specializes in the home and air care categories.

TricorBraun acquired Tripak, a flexible packaging solutions provider headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia.

The venture arm of chemical player BASF has announced it is leading an $8 million Series B financing round in US functional chemistry firm NBD Nanotechnologies. This new round also included Phoenix Venture Partners and Henkel AG & Co among others.

Sodexo has completed the sale of Vivabox USA (“Vivabox”) to Lion Equity Partners. Vivabox is a leading provider of products and services to the sample and subscription box industry.

CITIC Capital China Partners III, a fund managed by CITIC Capital Holdings, is expected to acquire premium packaging supplier Axilone from Oaktree Capital Management, Axilone’s current owner.

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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