Beauty M&A in 2023 is already off to a hot start.
A flurry of deals kickstarted the year despite concerns the U.S. could tip into recession. Procter & Gamble signed a deal to acquire Mielle, a Black-founded textured hair care brand, for an undisclosed sum, while L’Oréal’s venture capital fund BOLD has been active, making minority investments in French metaverse developer Digital Village and temporary tattoo-maker Prinker Korea Inc.
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Here is a list of all the beauty acquisitions and investments so far in 2023:
Unilever is set to acquire buzzy biotech hair care brand K18, as part of a wider strategy to invest in high-growth premium categories, build up its “power brands,” and invest in research and development.
After successfully betting on sunscreen brand Supergoop, Cult Capital has its eyes on stackable beauty. The consumer-facing investment firm has made a $5 million Series A investment in Subtl Beauty, a convenience-focused makeup brand founded by Rachel Reid in 2018. Two existing investors, Grouse Ridge Capital and Innovation Works, pushed the total up to $5.5 million.
Estée Lauder Cos., the American beauty conglomerate, has agreed to take a minority stake in Chinese fragrance label Melt Season. The deal was made through the company’s early investment and incubation arm, New Incubation Ventures, or NIV.
More of bankrupt Amyris’ brands have found new homes at auction, with at least one celebrity investor getting their brand back. Stripes, the menopausal brand founded in partnership with Naomi Watts, has been sold for $500,000 to Sakana LLC, with the “Mulholland Drive” and “King Kong” actress listed as managing member. AA Investments (HK) Ltd. will buy Rose Inc, the makeup brand that was a joint venture with supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, for $2.5 million. Hair care brand JVN Hair founded with “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness was sold to investment firm Windsong Global for $1.25 million. Windsong also won the bid for clean baby care brand Pipette. Biossance, thought to be its most successful creation, was sold to online beauty retailer THG Beauty, formerly known as The Hut Group, for $20 million. 4U by Tia and Menolabs also found buyers.
Sara Happ Inc. has a new investor. The brand sold a minority stake in the business to BGM Ventures, helmed by Greg Cooper and industry veteran Robert Mihin. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Cooper will join the company as chief executive officer.
Beauty brand Yepoda closed a series A funding round led by JamJar Investments and involving former Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. executive Chris Good, who will join the label not only as investor but also as adviser. Additional funding for the round came from V3 Ventures, led by Treatwell founder Lopo Champalimaud, and Slingshot Ventures.
Lalique Group signed a worldwide fragrance license with Japanese jeweler Mikimoto, famed for its pearl creations. The license, which pertains to a collection of perfumes and crystal editions, will initially run through 2035.
Innerskin aesthetic clinic raised 5 million euros to help accelerate its growth. The fundraising was led by Label Capital — which was founded by Véronique Morali, Eléonore Oudea and Gaspard de Sarnez — alongside strategic co-investors, including CF Partners, the Carle family office, and existing investors.
After its partners made an early investment in Drybar, Stride is getting deeper into hair with Minneapolis-based hair care brand Odele. The private equity firm just made a minority investment in Odele — a phonetic riff off of the Norwegian phrase å dele, which means “to share.” The brand was launched in 2020 by Lindsay Holden, Britta Chatterjee and Shannon Kearney, who together bring experience in retail, marketing and manufacturing in both big-box stores and smaller companies, from General Mills and hair care company Renpure to Target.
Haut.AI, a generative AI start-up in the beauty space, raised 2 million euros in its first external fundraising round. The seed funding comes from LongeVC, a biotech and longevity venture capital firm, and the VC branch of Grupo Boticário shareholders.
Natura & Co is officially selling The Body Shop to private equity firm Aurelius Investment in a deal valuing the chain at 207 million pounds, it was revealed Tuesday. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur by yearend and is subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Aesthetic Partners, a leading clinical aesthetics-focused practice management company, received a minority investment from San Franciso based investment firm Norwest. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Luxe oxygenated skin care brand Element Eight closed a $6 million funding round. The brand raised $2.5 million from existing investors and an additional $3.5 million from new investors, pushing the total raised to date up to $7.9 million.
Zegna signed a licensing deal with Give Back Beauty for the creation, production, marketing and distribution of fragrance and cosmetics for the brand, according to a joint statement from the two companies. Zegna’s beauty license was previously held by The Estée Lauder Cos., which wound down its designer fragrances division in 2021.
L’Oréal has sold green beauty brand Sanoflore to French investment fund Ekkio Capital and Sergio Calandri, Sanoflore’s new chief executive officer, who is also the founder of Inula Group, which has other natural product brands.
Swiss fragrance and flavors supplier Symrise AG raised its stake in Kobo Products Inc., a U.S.-based pigment and powder specialist for the beauty industry, to 49 percent.
Beauty distributor and most recently brand incubator SuperOrdinary raised $58 million in a Series B fundraising round, bringing the company’s valuation to more than $800 million.
SkinSpirit acquired Truth + BeautyMedspa in Roslyn Heights, New York.
Trafilea Tech E-commerce Group acquired direct-to-consumer clean skin care brand The Spa Dr. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
FounderSix, the influencer beauty brand incubator behind Allie Glines’ Ravie Beauty, Alex Renee’s Ary World and Lauren Perez’s Anablue, gained a new investment. The incubator, which was founded in 2020, raised $12 million from KD Capital. The firm has previously invested in OkCupid, ShopRunner, Spot Hero and Teleon Health, among other companies, according to its website.
Líha Beauty, the sleek natural and organic skin- and home-care brand blending West Africa’s rich plant and traditional heritage with English aromatherapy, closed a 1-million-pound funding round. The investor was private equity, according to Líha Okunniwa, who cofounded the brand with Abi Oyepitan in 2017. The sustainable label had raised 200,000 pounds just prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
Pierre Fabre Laboratoires has taken a minority stake in MiYé, the French skin care and dietary supplements brand focusing on women’s hormonal balance and well-being.
Customized beauty company Proven has raised a $12.2 million Series A from existing investors, with NewH2 Ventures acting as lead investor. Proven, which already raised around $9 million in previous rounds, operates two brands: Proven Skincare, the AI-powered, personalized skin care brand launched in 2019, and Noteworthy, a personalized fragrance line that launched earlier this year.
Eighth Day received a minority investment from L Catterton.
E.l.f. Beauty signed an agreement to acquire Naturium for $355 million. It’s part of a broader strategy to give the company cachet in skin, which could comprise 18 percent of retail sales after the sale is completed.
Coty renewed its license with Adidas. It has partnered with the activewear giant since the ‘90s and introduced its first product in the U.S. in 1999 with the Adidas Moves for Him scent.
Personal care brand Evolvetogether, launched by Cynthia Sakai during the pandemic with masks that were worn by the likes of Justin Bieber and Vice President Kamala Harris, has secured funding from some well-known names in the beauty industry. The seed round was led by True Beauty Ventures, with participation from G9 Ventures and Gregg Renfrew, the founder of Beautycounter. Terms of the investment were not disclosed, but sources told WWD Evolvetogether is on track to hit $10 million in sales.
Kao Corp. has signed an agreement to acquire Australian sun care brand Bondi Sands, as the beauty category heats up.
GlossGenius, a software platform for beauty salons, has raised $28 million in series C funding. The equity round was led by L Catterton Growth Fund, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners and Imaginary Ventures at a $510 million valuation.
Hair care line Bread Beauty Supply has raised a multimillion-dollar seed funding round, led by Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund focused on supporting women of color entrepreneurs. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Coty sold a 3.6 percent stake in Wella to investment firm IGF Wealth Management, with the cash proceeds to be used to pay down debt.
OurX, a direct-to-consumer platform with the mission of creating a new standard for tightly textured hair and scalp care via education, personalized regimens and its own product line, raised a $2.5 million seed round led by Reign Ventures.
Kering Beauté acquired Creed, the high-end niche fragrance house that’s controlled by BlackRock Long Term Private Capital Europe and the current chairman Javier Ferrán. Financial terms of the all-cash transaction were not disclosed, but industry sources estimate it was for approximately $1.5 billion.
Skin Pharm, an aesthetic skin care practice that has its own product line, received a minority investment from Prelude Growth Partners. The $15 million investment from the female-founded growth equity firm will fund the company’s clinic expansion plans nationwide and contribute to ongoing product development, both parties said in a statement.
Natura & Co.’s venture capital fund Fable Investments has increased its stake in Perfumer H, the fragrance brand of perfumer Lyn Harris, in order to help extend its product line, bolster its management team and support expansion in Asia.
Juliette Has a Gun has raised a new round of funding, with Cathay Capital private equity group raising its stake in the niche French fragrance brand and Weinberg Capital Partners taking a minority share.
FemTec Health’s Birchbox assets were purchased by Retention Brands through an assignment for the benefit of creditors.
Virtue Labs has raised a new financing round led by Clearasil and Just for Men owner Combe, its majority shareholder.
Henkel AG has finalized the sale of its business activities in Russia to a consortium of local financial investors for 54 billion rubles, or $689.6 million. The German maker of Schwarzkopf, Dial and Diadermine products had announced on April 20 its signing of an agreement to sell that activity, following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Henry Rose, the genderless fine fragrance brand founded by Michelle Pfeiffer, has gained a Series A investment led by Sandbridge Capital, its first external investment since its launch in 2019. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Oddity, the parent company of Il Makiage and Spoiled Child, has acquired Boston-based biotechnology startup Revela for $76 million. With the acquisition and an additional $25 million investment, the company will establish Oddity Labs in Boston.
Ceremonia, the Latinx clean hair care brand launched in 2020, has raised $10 million to support its recent expansion to more than 500 Sephora stores with a series A investment round led by Sandbridge Capital.
L Catterton is betting once again on the founders of Tula Skincare. The private equity firm has just made a “significant” growth investment in color cosmetics brand Dibs Beauty, launched in September 2021 by Tula Skincare founders Ken Landis (who also cofounded Bobbi Brown Cosmetics) and Dan Reich, with Austin, Texas-based influencer Courtney Shields and former chief operating officer of A-Rod Corp Jeff Lee. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Famille C Participations, the Courtin family’s holding company, has taken a majority stake in Pai Skincare to help step up the brand’s growth and turn it into selective distribution’s clean skin care leader.
Abeo, the digital beauty sampling platform, has a new owner. The company, which launched in 2020 as a part of Arcade Beauty, has been acquired by Sampler, which provides users with free, personalized samples across categories like food and beauty. The acquisition marks a push in the latter category.
Pierre Fabre announced it had acquired Même, a dermocosmetics line formulated specifically for women with sensitive skin due to cancer treatments.
L’Oréal invested in DSG Consumer Partners IV, the fourth fund of Singapore-based venture capital DSGCP, focused on growing early-stage consumer brand startups across Southeast Asia and India
L’Oréal has signed an agreement to acquire Aesop, the Australian luxury personal care company, from Natura & Co. The proposed transaction values Aesop at an enterprise value of more than $2.5 billion.
TrueNose, a medical aesthetics brand that specializes in non-surgical nose jobs founded by president Menaka Sampath, has been acquired by Aesthetic Holdings, a Denver-based medical aesthetics company with multiple medspa subsidiaries.
New Incubation Ventures, the early-stage, strategic investing and incubation arm of The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., has taken a minority stake in Vyrao, the British fragrance brand that promises far more than pleasing scents.
Matter of Fact has closed its second round of funding, to the tune of $6 million. The brand, founded by Paul Baek in 2021, closed a round of additional funding with participation from Horizon Ventures and Cowboy Ventures, in addition to James and Nicky Hilton Rothschild, as well as Birchbox cofounder Hayley Barna. That brings Matter of Fact’s total funding to $16 million. The company raised $10 million in seed funding in 2021.
Natural skin care brand True Botanicals has gained a series B investment from San Francisco-based growth equity firm NextWorld Evergreen. Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, WWD last year reported that True Botanicals had tapped investment bank Moelis & Company to evaluate deal options, with sources noting at the time that the brand was projecting sales of around $50 million for 2022.
L’Oréal has invested in the Geno-led initiative centered on developing, producing and commercializing biotechnology-based alternatives to key beauty product ingredients. L’Oréal, which made its investment through BOLD, the group’s corporate venture fund, did not disclose terms of the investment.
Live Tinted has closed a Series A fundraising round of $10 million led by Monogram Capital Partners. Other investors are Unilever Ventures, Devonshire Partners and Silas Capital. The beauty brand has secured $15 million to date.
The Beauty Health Company, owner of Hydrafacial, has agreed to acquire SkinStylus, an FDA-cleared microneedling device. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Beauty Health said that upon successful integration of SkinStylus into its portfolio, the company expects upside from the acquisition in 2024 and beyond.
Givaudan, the world’s largest fragrance and flavors supplier, is acquiring certain cosmetic ingredients from California-based biotechnology player Amyris, including its sugarcane-derived squalane, a sustainable alternative to that found in deep-sea shark livers. Amyris will continue to manufacture ingredients for Givaudan to use in cosmetics. Givaudan will become the commercialization partner for future sustainable beauty ingredients.
Sustainable beauty brand Caliray has raised a Series A round. The California-based brand launched in 2021 by Urban Decay founder Wende Zomnir has received new financing led by True Beauty Ventures, the early stage beauty and wellness focused investment fund run by Rich Gersten and Cristina Nuñez.
IFF has entered into an agreement to sell its Flavor Specialty Ingredients (FSI) business to UK-based private equity firm Exponent for $220 million in cash proceeds. FSI reports through IFF’s Scent division and is a manufacturer of synthetic and natural base aroma chemicals used in the flavor market. Cash proceeds from the transaction, net of taxes and expenses, will be used to reduce outstanding debt, IFF said.
Unilever has sold the Suave business in North America to Yellow Wood Partners, a private equity firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Outside of the U.S. and Canada, Unilever will maintain ownership of the brand.
Symrise took a minority interest in Synergio, an Israeli biotech company that specializes in the development of natural and sustainable solutions to be used in advanced plant-based technology destined for consumer goods products. Symrise did not give financial terms of the deal, but said it has the possibility to acquire a majority stake of Synergio’s share capital in the future.
Australian scalp care brand Straand secured $2 million pre-seed investment from Unilever Ventures.
Makeup by Mario received a $40 million minority growth investment from Provenance, a consumer-focused private investment firm, and Silas Capital, an emerging growth equity and venture capital firm.
AS Beauty, a joint venture between Alan and Joey Shamah, the founders of E.l.f. Beauty, and the Azrak family, who previously ran and sold a pajama business, has added the skin-focused, spa-inspired Bliss World brand to its roster as it looks to diversify its portfolio into skin care. Its current brand lineup consists of Laura Geller Beauty, Julep Beauty, Mally Beauty and Cover FX. It was previously owned by L Catterton.
German fragrance and flavors supplier Symrise took part in a Series A funding round of Ignite Venture Studios, which creates and invests in start-up ventures linked to beauty, health and wellness. It is based in the U.S. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
P&G Beauty has acquired Mielle Organics, a Black-founded textured hair care brand, for an undisclosed sum, with the founders stressing that the deal will increase availability of products, and that there are no plans to change formulas.
American packaging manufacturer GPA Global acquired Cosfibel Group, a France-based maker of luxury promotional packaging, luxury gifting and merchandising solutions. Financial terms of the deal, which gives GPA a strong European footprint, were not disclosed.
L’Oréal took a minority stake in temporary tattoo-maker Prinker Korea Inc. through its corporate venture fund BOLD.
Glowbar, known for its 30-minute, $65 facial, has received a $10 million Series A funding. The round was led by Peterson Partners, a Salt Lake City-based firm whose investments have included Allbirds, Solidcore, Bonobos, Rails Clothing and Madison Reed.
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