Beauty and personal care deal galore; plus Blackstone’s Desotec acquires Evoqua Water Technologies unit

Private equity bets on cosmetic surgery.

Good morning dealmakers, thank goodness it’s Friday!

It’s Obey Martin Manayiti here with the Wire.

To cap off the week, today we are looking at the beauty and personal care (BPC) sector. I will start with a story from my interview with VSS Capital principal Brad Corbin about the firm’s recent growth equity investment in Olympus Cosmetic Group, a provider of cosmetic surgery, dermatological treatments and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. I will follow it up with six PE-backed BPC deals announced this year.

But let’s start with this morning’s news.

Desotec, a portfolio company of Blackstone, has acquired Pittsburgh-based Evoqua Water Technologies’ carbon reactivation and exchange services business.

Desotec is a provider of sustainable mobile filtration services in Europe while Evoqua Water Technologies is a provider of water and wastewater treatment services.

Desotec was founded in 1990 and Blackstone acquired it in 2021.

“As the need for environmental services is increasingly front and center, we believe Desotec is well positioned to continue to take advantage of the market opportunity and remain confident the company will continue to thrive for the long-term future,” said Jürgen Pinker, Blackstone’s senior managing director.

Plastic surgery
The growing market for plastic surgery and other non-surgical beautification processes, coupled with the high fragmentation of the sector, attracted VSS Capital to make a growth equity investment in Olympus Cosmetic Group, Brad Corbin, principal at the New York headquartered PE firm, told me in an interview. The deal was announced earlier this week.

Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Olympus is a newly formed platform that focuses on providing cosmetic surgery, dermatological treatments and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. Services include face lifts, abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, breast lift, liposuction, injectables, non-surgical aesthetic treatments and body contouring.

Between 2017 and 2022, the US plastic surgery market is estimated to have grown 7 percent per year on average. “There is a large and growing market for plastic surgery in the US that’s been estimated to total approximately $26.6 billion in 2022,” said Corbin.

“This is also a highly fragmented sector, and about three quarters of the practices in the US are staffed by solo practitioners,” he added. “It is still very early in terms of consolidation within the industry, and we see an opportunity to position Olympus as the acquirer of choice.”

There is also growth in terms of non-surgical aesthetic procedures, including Botox, fillers and injectables.

Lipstick effect
A downturn in the economy has historically been good news for the BPC industry – a phenomenon some call the “lipstick effect.” The idea is that “small investments in self-care are on trend because, recession or no recession, ‘look good, feel good’ holds,” as LEK Consulting put it in a recent report.

But not all brands are created equal, and new generations of consumers have new demands. Changing times plus the fragmentation of the BPC sector makes it fertile ground for private equity investing.

Since the beginning of the year, PE Hub has seen a steady flow of deals on the manufacturing side as well as the logistics and retail side of BPC. So I rounded up six PE-backed BPC deals.

In May, Voyant Beauty, a portfolio company of Chicago-based Wind Point Partners, acquired Jade Road Design and Sourcing, a supply chain services provider for the fragrance packaging industry that is also headquartered in Chicago.

“Adding complementary supply chain capabilities through M&A has been a key pillar of the Voyant value creation plan,” said David Stott, Wind Point managing director. “The acquisition of Jade Road is closely aligned with this strategy, and we look forward to supporting the growth of the combined businesses.”

Greenwich, Connecticut based-L Catterton in April made an investment in Austin-based DIBS Beauty, a cosmetics brand that was launched in September 2021.

“DIBS Beauty is a highly distinctive brand that has quickly established a reputation for offering approachable, multifunctional makeup essentials that resonate with its customers,” said Jon Owsley, co-managing partner of the L Catterton Growth Fund, in a statement.

Its not distress
Elsewhere, my colleague Rafael Canton attended the Commonfund media roundtable this week where, despite private equity investments taking a deep, Mark Hoeing, the firm’s president and head of buyout and growth equity, said: “We’re in a period of stress, not distress.”

Please let us know what you are seeing in the market, or send a scoop on the latest deal or trends via my

That’s it for me today.

• PE Hub will be closed on Monday in observance of Juneteenth, and we will not be publishing the Wire newsletter.

• I’ll be back with more on Tuesday, and PE Hub editor-in-chief MK Flynn will be moderating panels at PEI Group’s Women in Private Markets Summit North America 2023.

Have a nice weekend.