PE-backed KDC acquires cosmetics manufacturer Kolmar

Knowlton Development Corp (KDC) has bought two Kolmar Labs Group companies: Kolmar Laboratories Inc and Acupac Packaging Inc. No financial terms were released. Based in Port Jervis, New York, Kolmar is a custom formulator and manufacturer of colour cosmetics, personal care and skincare products. Longueuil, Québec-based KDC, a contract maker of health and beauty products, said the acquisition is its first foray into the colour cosmetics segment. Last year, KDC was recapitalized in a $165 million deal led by Novacap and joined by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Investissement Québec, Export Development Canada and Fondaction CSN.


KDC announces the acquisition of the Kolmar Labs Group, a new foray into the Color Cosmetics and Specialty Delivery categories

Montréal, October 14, 2015 – KDC (The Knowlton Development Corporation), a leading contract manufacturer of health and beauty-care products headquartered in Longueuil, Québec, today announced the acquisition of the Kolmar Labs Group companies: Kolmar Laboratories Inc. and Acupac Packaging Inc. Kolmar is a New-York-based custom formulator and manufacturer of color cosmetics, personal care and skincare products, offering Product Development, R&D Innovation, QA/QC services, Regulatory services and manufacturing solutions for beauty and skin care brands. Kolmar Laboratories and Acupac Packaging together employ 500 full-time employees in state-of-the-art facilities totalling over 340,000 feet.

This acquisition follows the 2014 recapitalization of KDC by parent company NOVACAP, through its NOVACAP Industries IV, in partnership with la Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Investissement-Québec, Export Development Canada (EDC), Fondaction CSN and other institutional partners.

The acquisition is one more step forward in KDC’s evolution as world-class leader in the supply of high quality, innovative products and delivery solutions to prominent brands. While KDC is active in many personal care categories, such as deodorants, hair care, bath and body, and skin care, Kolmar represents its first foray into the Color Cosmetics category. KDC envisions Kolmar as a growth platform in its portfolio of enterprises, as it will allow it to diversify its offer and develop new market possibilities, by leveraging the scale and core competencies of its combined network of companies, facilities and clients.

“We believe that this category has strong business fundamentals and significant growth prospects,” said Nicholas Whitley, President and CEO of KDC. “We were particularly attracted to Kolmar’s innovation-based business model, its strong physical plant and equipment technologies, its outstanding customer base, and, most of all, its team of talented, highly skilled professionals. KDC, Kolmar and Acupac have very similar operating principles and business cultures, representing from the onset a strong alignment. We will welcome some of Kolmar’s and Acupac’s best practices into our business, while also exporting some of our best practices. The synergies from our alignment will bring benefit to all.”

“With this acquisition, KDC and its partners continue to deliver on their promise to double the business and reach the billion-dollar mark in annual revenues between the next three to five years,” added Michel Cote, KDC’s Chairman and Senior Partner of KDC owner company, NOVACAP. “Within one year since the recapitalization of KDC, we have already invested more than $100 M in the development of the company, and in acquisitions such as ChemAid and Kolmar, each of which further leverages KDC’s position as segment leader.”

“KDC is a strong, proven leader in the outsourcing business, and we feel that this will be a tremendous combination which will add value for customers, employees and all stakeholders, leading to a very bright future for both companies,” said Robert Edmonds, President and CEO of Kolmar Labs Group. “KDC has a solid history of investing in their businesses, their plants and their people, and we can expect that to continue with Kolmar. KDC has an excellent track record of sales growth, operational excellence, and superior customer service and shares our vision for Kolmar and Acupac as the best custom manufacturer in North America for health, personal care, beauty and medical markets.”

KDC plans to double its production by 2018 and become the leader in its industry, while remaining the only North American player with the critical mass needed to play a major role internationally.

KDC is a leader and total solution provider in the contract manufacturing fields of regulated and non-regulated personal care products with sales now in excess of $650 M USD, seven operating facilities run by a most talented and experienced team of professionals. KDC has its head office in Longueuil, Québec. In addition to the Kolmar facilities, KDC has plants in Knowlton, Mississauga, Ontario, as well as in Lynchburg, Virginia, Columbus, Ohio, and the KDC ChemAid facilities, located in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. Altogether, the company employs 2,000 people, including more than 750 in Knowlton. For more information, please visit: www.

At the forefront of the cosmetic and personal care industry since 1921, Kolmar is North America’s premier custom formulator and manufacturer of color cosmetics, skincare and personal care products; as well as thin film, gel, and coated non-woven unit dose delivery systems for the medical device, health care and personal care industries. Kolmar offers a complete range of services, including product conceptualization, custom product formulation, manufacturing, filling and assembly. Kolmar’s enduring commitment to product quality and innovation, delivered on time, provided at a competitive price, is valued by leading brands worldwide. For more information about the Kolmar Labs Group, please consult and

With $1.5 billion of assets under management, NOVACAP ranks among the top private equity firms in North America. Since 1981, its distinct partnership approach based on operational expertise has helped more than 70 companies in North America accelerate their growth and maximize their value.
Established in October 2014, the NOVACAP Industries IV Fund has recently raised an initial $300-million investment by partners such as Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Investissement-Québec, Export Development Canada (EDC) and other institutional partners. NOVACAP expects to complete commitments for its $425-million goal within the next few months. The fund seeks to invest mostly in medium-sized companies in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, as well as in specialized services, distribution and retail platforms. For more information about NOVACAP, consult: .

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at June 30, 2015, it held CAD$240.8 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ, which marks its 50th anniversary this year, invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure and real estate. For more information about CDPQ:

Investissement Québec’s mission is to foster the growth of investment in Québec, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation in every region. The Corporation offers businesses a full range of financial solutions, including loans, loan guarantees and equity investments, to support them at all stages of their development. It is also responsible for administering tax measures and prospecting for foreign investment. For more information:

The Fonds de solidarité FTQ helps drive our economy. With net assets of $11.1 billion as of May 31, 2015, the Fonds is a development capital fund that channels the savings of Quebecers into investments in all sectors of the economy to help create and maintain jobs and further Québec’s development. The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a partner, either directly or through its network members, in more than 2,550 companies. With 610 605 shareholder-savers, the Fonds helps create, maintain and protect more than 176,000 jobs. For more information, visit

Media contacts:

Valérie Gonzalo, AGO communications: 514 626-6976;
Amy Skellett: 845 858-1344;
Jean-Benoit Houde: 514 847-5493;
Chantal Corbeil: 514 873-7161;
Patrick McQuilken: 514 850-4835;

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock