L’Oréal SA (EPA: OR), the world’s leading beauty and cosmetics company, controlled by the family of Liliane Bettencourt, the wealthiest person in France and the wealthiest woman in the world, agreed to acquire IT Cosmetics, a top-selling prestige makeup and skincare brand in the United States, for $1.2 billion in cash.

IT Cosmetics was founded in 2008 by Jamie Kern Lima and Paulo Lima, who stand to make a fortune through the sale. Prior to launching IT, she was a TV news anchor, while he worked in investment banking. They both earned MBA degrees from Columbia Business School.

Private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners LLC acquired a minority stake from IT’s founders in September 2013. TSG, founded in 1987 and based in San Francisco, Calif., is focused exclusively on investments in the branded consumer sector, with nearly $5 billion of assets under management.

IT Cosmetics offers more than 300 high-performance beauty products focusing on color cosmetics, skincare, brushes and tools. IT works hand-in-hand with plastic surgeons to create innovative, high performance products laser-focused on solving women’s beauty problems.

The company’s multi-channel distribution model includes television shopping channels QVC and TSC, specialty stores including ULTA and Sephora, and e-commerce. For the 12 months ending June, 2016, IT had net sales of $182 million, up by 56% from the previous year.

“IT Cosmetics shares L’Oréal’s passion for product innovation and our belief that offering beauty for all is a deeply purposeful mission,” said Frédéric Rozé, president and CEO of L’Oréal USA. “The brand has earned the devotion of its highly engaged consumers and we see potential for significant growth in the years to come.”

“IT Cosmetics will perfectly complement the L’Oréal Luxe’s brand portfolio to satisfy the rising demand for make-up as well as hybrid skincare. We are happy to welcome IT Cosmetics to the L’Oréal dream team which includes other great beauty brands such as Lancôme, Kiehl’s, Yves Saint Laurent, Armani and Urban Decay,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, president L’Oréal Selective Divisions.

“At IT Cosmetics our mission is to make the world more beautiful through our products, through our actions and through our belief that every woman is beautiful and deserves to feel her most beautiful,” said Jamie Kern Lima, co-founder & CEO, IT Cosmetics.

IT Cosmetics will become part of the Luxe Division of L’Oréal, and will continue to operate out of its Jersey City, New Jersey headquarters under the current leadership team.

The closing is subject to standard regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

Goldman, Sachs & Co., Piper Jaffray & Co., and Financo, LLC, served as financial advisors and Sidley Austin LLP served as legal counsel to the sellers.

L’Oréal has devoted itself to beauty for over 105 years. With an international portfolio of 32 diverse and complementary brands, the company generated sales of 25.26 billion euros in 2015 and employs 82,900 people worldwide.

L’Oréal is present across all distribution networks, including mass market, department stores, pharmacies and drugstores, hair salons, travel retail, branded retail and e-commerce. Research and innovation, and a dedicated research team of 3,870 people, are at the core of L’Oréal’s strategy. The company is headquartered in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, with a registered office in Paris, France.

Liliane Bettencourt and her children own 33% of L’Oréal, which her father Eugene Schueller founded in 1907. Swiss food giant Nestlé SA (SIX: NESN; EN: NESTS) owns 23% of the company.


The deal follows a recent global wave of deals and consolidation in the beauty and personal care market.

Last week, Bain Capital Private Equity and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) agreed to acquire a majority stake in Carver Korea, a leading K-beauty cosmetics company, for over $300 million.

Likewise, a few days ago consumer products giant Unilever (LSE: ULVR) agreed to acquire men’s personal grooming startup Dollar Shave Club (DSC), for $1 billion.

Earlier this month, Tangle Teezer, a British manufacturer of detangling hairbrushes founded and owned by hair colorist Shaun Pulfrey, was said to have hired investment bank Robert W. Baird & Co. to shop the company for £200 million.

In June, billionaire Ronald Perelman‘s Revlon Inc. (NYSE: REV) agreed to acquire Elizabeth Arden Inc. (NASDAQ: RDEN), a legendary global prestige beauty products company with a portfolio of beauty brands sold in over 120 countries, in a deal valued at $870 million.

Two weeks earlier, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) agreed to acquire Vogue International LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of salon-heritage hair care and other personal care products, including OGX, FX, Proganix and Maui Moisture, from private Equity firm Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ: CG) and the company’s founder, for $3.3 billion.

Around the same time, British private equity firm Lion Capital was said to have appointed Rothschild to oversee an auction of GHD (Good Hair Day), a supplier of hair products to celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and singer Katy Perry. The asking price is reportedly around £400 million.

Also in early June, Japanese global cosmetics company Shiseido Co. Ltd. (TYO: 4911) agreed to acquire Gurwitch Products LLC, a Houston, Texas-based marketer of global prestige cosmetics and skincare brands including Laura Mercier and RéVive, from Alticor Inc., the owner of Amway.

In May, private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice agreed to acquire High Ridge Brands Co., which owns a portfolio of personal care brands, from private equity firm Brynwood Partners, for $415 million.

In April, Fosun International (HKSE: 0656), one of China’s largest investment firms chaired by billionaire Guo Guangchang, agreed to acquire Israeli cosmetics company Ahava Dead Sea Labs for $77 million.

In February, Canadian cosmetics and skincare company Groupe Marcelle acquired Montreal-based Lise Watier Cosmétiques, , through an $18 million investment by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ),becoming the largest Canadian company in the beauty industry.



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