In Finance

While we don’t claim to have a crystal ball, it was only 9 months ago in our 2014 Q3 M&A recap that we predicted 23 potential transactions in the beauty space. Since then, of those 23 predictions, 7 have happened: Carol’s Daughter, Dermalogica, Dollar Shave Club, Glamglow, Kate Somerville, Murad, and Too Faced Cosmetics. Of these 7 transactions, 5 occurred in 2015 Q2. Not bad!

Looking at Q2’s deals and industry headlines, it’s hard not to notice the (tidal) waves Unilever is making by bolstering its prestige division or the ongoing presence of emerging platforms across the globe. So, let’s jump in while summer is here, and the water is warm: here’s BGM’s 2015 Q2 roundup.

UNILEVER BUYS DERMALOGICA

WHAT:

As a skin therapist from the UK, Jane identified a lack of continuing skin-care education when she first arrived in LA in 1983 and formed The International Dermal Institute in a small classroom. In 1986, Jane and Raymond Wurwand launched Dermologica to serve the needs of licensed skin-care professionals and address skin problems. Today, its range of at-home and specialist products are sold in over 80 countries. Headquartered in Carson, California, Dermalogica also has operations in the U.K., Australia, Ireland, and Canada.

WHY:

Dermalogica is a strategic pillar for Unilever’s growth, complementing the acquisitions of REN Skincare and Kate Somerville Skincare. Purchased for an undisclosed amount, the acquisition of Dermalogica is expected to significantly boost the company’s profile in the high-end space. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, said: “We are delighted to be adding Dermalogica to the Unilever Prestige personal care portfolio. Dermalogica enjoys an outstanding reputation and incredible awareness among skin-care professionals and consumers alike and has a clear positioning as a superior skin health brand that perfectly complements the rest of our Prestige offering. Importantly, it is a company founded on strong values and a common belief, shared by Unilever, in the role of business as a force for good in society.” Jane Wurwand, Dermalogica Founder and Chief Visionary, said: “This partnership will provide Dermalogica with the opportunities and resources to take the brand to even greater heights and help us continue our legacy in supporting the next generation of professional skin therapists and women entrepreneurs worldwide.”

DETAILS:

  • Purchased for an undisclosed amount.
  • Dermalogica will be part of the Unilever Prestige Division.
  • Dermalogica will continue to manufacture, operate, and work out of its global headquarters in Los Angeles, California.
  • Sales were $240 million in 2014.
  • Founders Jane and Raymond have retained an interest in the company and will continue to work with Unilever to grow the brand.
  • Cravath is representing Unilever in connection with this transaction.

OUR TAKE:

KK: Rumor of a Dermalogica sale have circulated for years. Unilever’s acquisition strategy seems clear: acquire a stable of well-performing, mature niche brands with premium positioning leverage synergies to grow their Prestige Division.
SG: Our list of strong growth and acquisition targets shortens with brands like Dermalogica being taken off the table. Unilever accesses so many terrific assets across distribution channels and cultures in the deal and not to mention a time-proven global brand with tremendous growth potential. With Dermalogica’s deep history and roots, it stands to reason that several opportunities can be created to cross-pollinate and expand Unilever’s growing portfolio.

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