First Aid Beauty has been backed by private equity firm Castanea Partners since 2015. Procter & Gamble has acquired the company for an estimated $250 million.
WHO: Founded in 2009 by beauty industry veteran Lilli Gordon, First Aid Beauty (FAB) is a leading indie skincare brand born from an identified need for efficacious and fun sensitive skincare solutions. She built FAB centered around healing skin. The line has several collections that target skin concerns like aging, acne, dryness, dullness, and redness. The company’s products are available through key domestic retail partners, including Sephora, Ulta, and QVC, and internationally through Sephora Southeast Asia and Tmall Global.
Castanea is a private equity firm that works in partnership with founders and management teams of innovative passion brands to grow their businesses through a combination of capital investment and operating expertise. They typically invest between $15 to $150 million of equity in minority or majority transactions. Their team of talented operating executives offers critical expertise in key verticals and functional areas, and provides partner companies with strategic and tactical support. Castanea has raised over $1 billion and is currently investing from a $735 million fourth fund.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Procter & Gamble (P&G) is a Fortune 500 company and global leader in Consumer Packaged Goods. P&G serves nearly 5 billion people around the world with its multi-category portfolio, which spans beauty, healthcare, grooming, fabric and home care, and baby, feminine, and family care. P&G’s brands are widely recognizable, including Crest, Febreze, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Olay, Pantene, SK-II, and Tide.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “We’re looking in our skin-care portfolio for brands that [complement] our portfolio in benefit spaces where we’re currently not present, or in segments of the market where we’re not present, and First Aid Beauty fits the bill pretty well,” Markus Strobel, president of P&G’s global skin and personal care, said to WWD. For one, FAB sits between the high-end price point of SK-II and mass-market price point of Olay. But the acquisition also gives P&G greater access to the specialty retail channel in North America: FAB is sold at Sephora and Ulta Beauty, as well as QVC.
Under P&G, FAB will be able to increase its global footprint “much faster and so much more effectively,” Gordon noted, and gain access to more research and development resources. “It’s going to be like letting me loose in a candy shop,” Gordon said.
“What Lilli and her team have accomplished over the last three years is really to just broaden the reach, broaden the audience that is aware of First Aid Beauty, introduce new people to the brand and really convert those folks into loyal customers,” said Steve Berg, managing director at Castanea. “They’re early in the process of doing that in North America, and certainly globally, and P&G will be a fantastic partner in helping to accelerate that growth.”
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