In Finance

Cornell Capital-backed Knowlton Development Corporation (KDC/ONE) acquired Benchmark Cosmetic Laboratories (Benchmark), a leading custom formulator for established and emerging prestige beauty brands.

WHO: Founded by Susan Goldsberry in 2007, Benchmark, based in Irvine, California, is a widely recognized expert in skin, hair, and sun care. Benchmark partners with leading ingredient suppliers to identify and test new materials ahead of the market.

Established in 2002, KDC/ONE is the largest custom formulator in North America, with a network of best-in-class custom formulators and manufacturers of color cosmetics, skincare, haircare, bath & body, fragrance, deodorant, home, health, industrial, and auto care products. The company has its head offices in Longueuil, Québec. KDC/ONE has 13 operating facilities located throughout North America and in France, employing over 5,200 people. In December 2018, KDC/ONE accelerated its international growth strategy by partnering with Cornell Capital, a private investment firm based in New York and Hong Kong, alongside other investors including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Investissement Québec, and HarbourVest Partners.

WHY: The acquisition of Benchmark underscores KDC/ONE’s dedication to origination and creativity across its network of 16 manufacturing sites for its brand partners, and will further solidify its position as a global leader in the beauty, personal care, and specialty areas.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We welcome Benchmark into the KDC/ONE network as our new West Coast innovation hub, enhancing our ability to serve the innovation, research, development and testing needs of our clients. We share with Benchmark a strong commitment to bringing leading-edge innovation to our brand partners and this combination will further increase our creative potential,” said Nicholas Whitley, President and CEO of KDC/ONE. “Benchmark’s capabilities naturally complement KDC/ONE’s Innovation Lab, and its strong reputation for service and invention matches our own dedication to high-touch development and speed-to-market efficiency.”

“I am thrilled to be joining KDC/ONE, which has a proven track record of innovation and delivering value-added services to brands across the globe,” said Ms. Goldsberry. “We are excited that the Benchmark team will now have access to world-class resources and a broader beauty, health and personal care platform to leverage our innovation capabilities.”


  • KDC/ONE acquired Benchmark Cosmetic Laboratories.
  • Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
  • Susan Goldsberry will continue as President of Benchmark under the KDC/ONE leadership.
  • In November 2018, KDC/ONE partnered with Cornell Capital, a private investment firm based in New York and Hong Kong, to drive international growth and enhance KDC/ONE’s ability to continue to invest in top-tier product innovation and best-in-class manufacturing capabilities.
  • Over the past four years, KDC/ONE has experienced rapid growth through the successful completion of eight notable acquisitions, most recently in Europe with the acquisitions of the Alkos Group and of the manufacturing operations of Swallowfield.

Photo: via Pixabay

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