Advent International agreed to acquire three of Shiseido Americas Corp’s cosmetics brands: bareMinerals, BUXOM and Laura Mercier. Advent will make the acquisition through its affiliate AI Beauty Holdings and upon completion, the company will be renamed. Pascal Houdayer, former CEO of NAOS, will become CEO of the standalone business.
Advent International (“Advent”), one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement with Shiseido Americas Corporation (“Shiseido Americas”), a subsidiary of Shiseido Company, Limited (“Shiseido”), under which a newly formed affiliate of Advent, AI Beauty Holdings Ltd., will acquire three of Shiseido Americas’ iconic cosmetics brands, bareMinerals, BUXOM, and Laura Mercier. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Upon completion of the transaction, Pascal Houdayer, who has 30 years of senior management experience in the beauty industry, will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the standalone business. Advent Operating Partner Janet Gurwitch, a distinguished beauty industry investor and founder and former CEO of Laura Mercier, advised Advent on the transaction and will continue to advise the firm and the new company.
Launched in 1995, bareMinerals is the leader in mineral-based cosmetics and is considered the creator of “clean beauty” and “makeup so pure and clean you can sleep in it.” BUXOM, created in 2007, is a color cosmetics brand focused on “going big, being bold, and feeling sexy.” It is ranked among the top five U.S. brands across various lip categories. Prestige makeup brand Laura Mercier was founded in 1996 and pioneered the natural, “flawless face” category.
“We are strong believers in the bareMinerals, BUXOM, and Laura Mercier brands,” said Tricia Glynn, a Managing Director at Advent. “They are clear leaders in prestige beauty and are widely recognized for their quality, authenticity, and innovation, with differentiated products and devoted customers. We are excited to partner with Pascal as CEO of the new company to accelerate the growth of these brands by continuing to develop innovative products, expanding into new categories and geographies, and enhancing digital engagement with customers.”
“We have been proud stewards of bareMinerals, BUXOM, and Laura Mercier, and we believe Advent is the right partner to guide these incredible brands into their next chapter,” said Ron Gee, President and Chief Executive Officer of Shiseido Americas and Global M&A Leader. “This transaction will infuse bareMinerals, BUXOM, and Laura Mercier with the resources and support needed for the brands and their talented teams to continue to grow.”
Pascal Houdayer, a Seasoned Executive in the Beauty Industry
Pascal Houdayer has three decades of experience leading beauty and personal care businesses across both developed and emerging markets. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of NAOS (Bioderma, Esthederm, Etat Pur), a global leader in dermo-cosmetics that develops innovative skin care and personal care products, and as an Executive Vice President and member of the Management Board at Henkel, where he was responsible for the Beauty Care Division, after leading the Asia-Pacific region, Digital, New Business Development, and the global Home Care business. In 2017, he led Henkel’s carve-out of Shiseido’s North American Hair Professional business, including the Joico and Zotos brands. Prior to that, Pascal worked for 19 years at Procter & Gamble holding various international management positions in the United States, Europe, and Africa. He most recently served as President and Founder of stratosPHere, a global private equity senior advisory and consulting firm.
“I’m honored to be part of the team that will guide the future of bareMinerals, BUXOM, and Laura Mercier,” said Pascal Houdayer. “We believe these brands have significant runway for growth, particularly as we see the large and growing color cosmetics market benefitting from secular tailwinds. I look forward to helping expand these brands across new products, channels, and regions, while enabling the new company to realize its full potential.”
Advent Brings Significant Experience in the Beauty Sector and Carve-Outs
Advent is an established investor in popular consumer brands and the services that power them. The purchase of three brands from Shiseido Americas is Advent’s second investment in the beauty industry in the last two years, following its acquisition of prestige hair-care brand Olaplex in January 2020. Advent was also the majority owner of Douglas, Europe’s leading beauty retailer, from 2013 to 2015. During that time, Advent helped the company enhance its profile, expand its international presence, and transform from a diversified retail conglomerate to a specialist retailer of selective beauty products.
Over the past 30 years, Advent has invested $13.6 billion in more than 80 retail, consumer, and leisure companies worldwide. Its most recent North American investments in the sector include Olaplex, Thrasio, Sovos Brands, First Watch, Aimbridge Hospitality, and lululemon. Advent also has significant experience in buying businesses from large, global companies, having completed over 70 corporate carve-outs across 22 countries since 1991.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Upon closing, the newly formed company, AI Beauty Holdings Ltd., will complete the acquisition of the three brands (bareMinerals, BUXOM, and Laura Mercier) and the company will be renamed.
Jefferies LLC is serving as financial advisor, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is acting as legal counsel to Advent. Perella Weinberg Partners is serving as financial advisor, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is acting as legal counsel to Shiseido Americas.
About Advent International
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 380 private equity investments across 42 countries, and as of March 31, 2021, had $75 billion in assets under management. With 14 offices in 11 countries, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 245 private equity investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; health care; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology. After more than 35 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies.
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About Shiseido Americas Corporation
Shiseido Americas Corporation is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Shiseido Company, Limited (TSE:4911), a leading global beauty company. Led by President and CEO Ron Gee, Shiseido Americas’ portfolio of prestige beauty brands includes bareMinerals, BUXOM, Clé de Peau Beauté, Drunk Elephant, Laura Mercier, NARS, brand SHISEIDO and several prestige fragrance brands including Issey Miyake, Narciso Rodriguez and Tory Burch. Shiseido Americas is headquartered in New York City and employs more than 2,500 individuals in the United States, Canada, and throughout Latin America.