The private equity investment trend in beauty has continued as Permira Funds announced a partnership with the founders of John Masters Organics Inc. (JMO) and Styla Inc. to back boost the global expansion of the organic brand.
The announcement follows Brynwood Partners' sale of High Ridge Brands to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a deal valued at $415 million.
At a recent Fashion Group International event in New York, Rich Gersten of Tengram Capital Partners noted a decline in generalist investing, though Permira Funds holds a diverse array of brands, including Hugo Boss, Valentino and Dr Martens.
"I believe we can not only continue to deliver the highest quality organic products to our discerning customers, but expand our offering to even better serve their needs."
Why is more private equity and investment banking turning to beauty? For one, said Gersten, beauty is a large and growing industry that is highly fragmented, with niche and indie brands offering unique investment opportunities.
Under the current deal Permira will acquire a majority of the shares of John Masters Organics Inc. and its exclusive Japanese and East Asian distributor, Styla Inc. The enterprise value of the deal is JPY 37 billion/approx. $336 million.
John Masters, the founder of JMO, and Yoshimune Noda and Maiko Noda, the founders of Styla, will continue to be involved in the combined businesses under the new partnership.
JMO's unique positioning has focused on "urban wellness, providing luxury, organic beauty that treats both its customers and the earth with respect." The brand is available in more than 40 countries, in art due to the Styla artnershi, which has been in lace since 2007.
By acquiring JMO and Styla, Permira is looking to further exand the brand around the world.
“I am delighted at this new partnership and thrilled by the prospect that working with Permira can help bring my vision of super natural beauty and organic, urban wellness to more people around the world who deserve to look and feel their best, knowing that the products they are using are composed of the best, most organic ingredients,” said Masters.
“With our expertise in distribution and product development together with the Permira funds’ brand experience, investment support and outstanding global network, I believe we can not only continue to deliver the highest quality organic products to our discerning customers, but expand our offering to even better serve their needs," said Noda.