Carlyle Puts Philosophy On The Block

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Upmarket toiletries and cosmetics firm Philosophy Inc, owned by private equity firm Carlyle, is seeking buyers and has hired an investment bank to advise it, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote) is advising on the sale and the company could be worth more than $1 billion, the source said. The source declined to be identified because the process is not public.

Carlyle bought Philosophy in 2007 from a group of owners, according to the private equity firms’ website.

News of its auction was originally reported by Bloomberg.

The cosmetics industry has been ripe for consolidation as companies seek exposure to new consumers in new markets.

Japan’s leading cosmetic maker Shiseido Co (4911.T: Quote) recently bought California-based Bare Escentuals for $1.7 billion to speed its North American expansion and its footprint in cosmetics made with natural ingredients. Earlier this month Estee Lauder Cos Inc (EL.N: Quote) acquired Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, a prestige brand well-known in specialty channels such as Sephora, which is owned by LVMH (LVMH.PA: Quote).

Other leading cosmetic makers include France’s L’Oreal SA (OREP.PA: Quote) and U.S.-based Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N: Quote), which owns CoverGirl and SK-II, Elizabeth Arden Inc (RDEN.O: Quote) and Revlon Inc (REV.N: Quote).

Philosophy, Carlyle and Goldman Sachs were not available for comment or declined comment. (By Megan Davies and Martinne Geller; Editing by Bernard Orr)