Hotel Chocolat, the British luxury confectioner, bought Rabot 1745, a beauty brand that specializes in "cacao-powered beauty," for less than a box of chocolate.
WHO: Rabot 1745 was founded in 2016 as a joint venture with former Lush executive and Hotel Chocolat’s Non-Executive Chairman Andrew Gerrie. The brand takes its name from the St. Lucian cocoa plantation owned by Hotel Chocolat co-founder Angus Thirlwell, and is inspired by the wild beauty of the group's farm and rainforest spa. Its range includes a variety of chocolate-themed products.
Founded in 2004 by Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, Hotel Chocolat is a British chocolatier and cocoa grower, with 120+ shops as well as cafés, restaurants, outlets, and factory stores in the United Kingdom. Hotel Chocolat is the only company in the United Kingdom to grow cocoa on its own plantation.
WHY: Wayne Brown, an analyst at Liberum, said Hotel Chocolat's purchase of Rabot 1745 would enable it "to continue to develop its successful, award-winning beauty range, which is particularly popular across its UK channels, St Lucia and Japan."
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “The group is well placed to leverage the value of the Rabot inventory and to further develop the brand’s intellectual property, which includes a range of high-quality beauty products which have attracted multiple awards and favorable customer reviews,” said Hotel Chocolat.
- Hotel Chocolat paid £4 to take full control of Rabot 1745. The group already owns 47% of Rabot, while Mr. Gerrie, who is also the group's non-executive chairman, owns 40.5%.
- Mr. Gerrie will receive £3 in exchange for his stake, while the remaining investors will share the other £1 between them.
- Hotel Chocolat will pay back a £744,000 loan that Mr. Gerrie provided the business and will give him more than 200,000 newly issued Hotel Chocolat shares representing about a 40% stake in the brand.
- Following the acquisition, Rabot will be left owing £200,000 due to debts of £900,000 and assets of £700,000.
- Rabot lost £400,000 last year but Hotel Chocolat says it can turn it around. Cosmetics Business reported the business made just under £1 million in its first two years of trading.
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