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Published November 20, 2018
Published November 20, 2018
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Knowlton Development Corporation (KDC), a leading manufacturing partner to beauty, health, and personal care brands, and Cornell Capital, a private investment firm, have announced that a group of investors led by Cornell Capital has partnered with KDC and its existing management to position the company for its next leg of growth.

WHO: Established in 2002, KDC is an innovative, one-stop solution providing product innovation, research support, custom formulation, batch processing, assembly, packaging, and quality assurance services for prestige beauty and health, specialty personal care, and household products.

Cornell Capital is led by Henry Cornell, the former Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division, who has a 35-year history of partnering with leading businesses. The firm has deep expertise in the consumer and industrial sectors.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “The investment from Cornell Capital comes at the perfect time for KDC,” stated Nicholas Whitley, CEO of KDC. “Cornell Capital believes fully in the value that KDC’s unified capabilities provide to our customers. Their partnership with our existing management will provide KDC with the capital to continue our unmatched investment in top-tier product innovation and world-class manufacturing capabilities, as well as support our domestic and international growth strategy. This is a very exciting time for KDC, our customers and employees.”

“KDC fits seamlessly with Cornell’s strategy to invest in companies with excellent management teams and in industries that are thriving and poised for international expansion. We are impressed with the growth that the company has enjoyed under Nick’s leadership, and we have a shared vision for building on this strong trajectory,” said Henry Cornell. “Everything at KDC is best in class—from its consistent investment in innovation, to its manufacturing capabilities, day-to-day execution, customer service and culture. Leveraging our global network, we look forward to working with management to help expand KDC’s operations, particularly in Europe and Asia.”

Mathieu Gauvin, Senior Vice-President, Private Equity, Québec, of CDPQ, added, “As a longstanding partner of the company, we are pleased to support KDC as it enters a new phase of growth in international markets, which will benefit its global headquarters and operations in Québec.”

“We are proud to support one of Québec’s market leaders in beauty and personal care products and accelerate its expansion for the benefit of Québec’s economy,” stated Pierre Gabriel Côté, President and Chief Executive Officer, IQ.


  • Cornell Capital LLC has led a group of investors including HarbourVest Partners to partner with KDC and its existing management to position the company for its next leg of growth.
  • Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“CDPQ”) and Investissement Québec (“IQ”), long-time shareholders of KDC, will roll over a significant stake as part of this transaction.
  • KDC has experienced rapid growth through the successful completion of seven notable acquisitions over the past four years, most recently with Aromair Fine Fragrance and Northern Labs, further expanding its offerings in the fine fragrance, air, and home care product markets.
  • Guggenheim Securities LLC acted as financial advisor and Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP acted as legal advisor to KDC.
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Stikeman Elliott LLP acted as legal advisors to Cornell Capital.

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