Highlander Partners has acquired a majority stake in clean beauty brand RMS, founded by Rose-Marie Swift.
WHO: Founded in 2009 by makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift, in Charleston, SC, RMS Beauty is a line of living-ingredient-based products that offer true artist-quality performance. The company has been setting the standard for clean ingredients since its inception. Today, RMS Beauty is a leader in the clean beauty movement, with products distributed globally.
Highlander Partners is a Dallas-based private investment firm which manages over $2 billion of its own proprietary capital. The firm focuses on making investments in businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience. Highlander Partners employs a buy-and-build investment approach, creating value by helping companies grow both organically and through acquisitions.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: David Olsen, Managing Director Highlander Partners, commented, "Like Rose-Marie herself, the RMS brand is unique. It was the prescient first-mover in clean beauty and continues to push the industry with its formulation standards. Yet it also creates the highest quality and most effective products, as you'd expect from a master makeup artist. With these attributes, RMS has an opportunity to scale considerably. We intend to revamp the brand, strengthen and expand RMS' extensive retail relationships, drive the DTC business, and enhance and broaden the product assortment."
Rose-Marie noted, "I am beyond excited to partner with Highlander. Over the years, many firms have tried to invest in our brand, but we've been self-funded and profitable since day 1, and we were able to be patient and wait for the perfect fit. Highlander's operational expertise and creative approach to investing are unique and unparalleled, and they believe in our core ethos. I look forward to a great partnership."
Jeff L. Hull, President and CEO of Highlander Partners, added, "We have been exploring the beauty and personal care category in a meaningful way for the past two to three years. All of our efforts in assessing the beauty industry have led to an ideal investment with RMS. We believe RMS is the pioneer and leader in clean beauty and has significant growth opportunities, while also giving us optionality to create a larger clean beauty platform. It is our intention to continue to grow in this category through additional acquisitions."
- Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but WWD reported that industry sources said RMS has about $30 million in sales.
- RMS has been self-funded and profitable since its launch. This deal represents the first outside capital for the business.
- David Olsen, Managing Director at Highlander and former Chief Executive Officer of Cos Bar and former Global Vice President at Net-a-Porter, will immediately assume the role of CEO of RMS.
- Elaine Sack will move to the Chief Strategic Officer role and work hand in hand with Rose-Marie and David through the transition. Ben Slater, a partner at Highlander, will serve as Chairman of the Board.
- Katten served as legal counsel to Highlander. William Blair & Company, LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor and Giannuzzi Lewendon served as legal counsel to RMS.
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