Unilever has signed a deal to acquire skin care brand Paula’s Choice.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. WWD had previously reported in April that the brand was exploring M&A options, and that the business is expected to do more than $300 million in net sales for 2021.
Paula’s Choice was founded in 1995 by Paula Begoun, who authored “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me” and “The Complete Beauty Bible.” Begoun was an early advocate for ingredient transparency in beauty, and Paula’s Choice was one of the first skin care brands to create an ingredient dictionary.
The brand is primarily sold direct-to-consumer online, but also sells with Nordstrom and recently launched with Sephora.
Paula’s Choice is well known for products like 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant and Niacinamide 20% Treatment.
Paula’s Choice will become part of Unilever Prestige, run by Vasiliki Petrou, who called the brand “a true pioneer in the digital space” and “a mission-based brand rooted in truth and transparency.”
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Unilever plans to bring Paula’s Choice to a larger audience of customers, Petrou said.
“Developing Unilever’s portfolio in the high-growth premium skin care segment is one of our strategic priorities and I’m excited that Paula’s Choice is joining us on this journey,” said Unilever Beauty & Personal Care president Sunny Jain in a statement.
Paula’s Choice is being sold by TA Associates, which invested in the business alongside Bertram Capital in 2016. At that time, the brand’s revenues were said to be around $70 million and the business was valued at $275 million.
The Unilever deal is expected to close in the third quarter. Industry sources said the brand hired three banks — Financo Raymond James as lead adviser, Piper Sandler and Morgan Stanley — for the deal.
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