"I am the woman you should call if you have a global consumer company that you want to sell cross-border,” says Beth Pickens. She has the street cred to back up the statement, having conducted deals involving consumer goods darlings Harry’s (the razor brand), Harrys of London (a footwear brand), and personal care lines Mio Skincare and Yes to Carrots.
Consumer goods M&A is poised for growth, and dealmakers are predicting continued activity according to Mergers & Acquisitions Mid-Market Pulse (MMP), a forward-looking sentiment indicator derived from monthly surveys of approximately 250 business executives and published in partnership with CT. Cross-border deals, too, are of increased importance. “Having international buyers in your process is important,” Pickens says.
And based in London, Pickens runs many processes through U.S. buyers, including private equity firms. For example, she sold Harrys of London (which was carved out of luxury brand-owner Richemont) to Boston private equity firm Palladin Consumer Retail Partners, which also owns Aerosoles and J. McLaughlin. Harrys of London was originally the men’s line of Jimmy Choo plc (LON: CHOO). “We signed our transaction the same day Jimmy Choo went public in London,” Pickens says.
Razor company Harry’s, a New York-based startup supported by venture capital funding from BoxGroup, Grace Beauty Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Thrive Capital, Wellington Management and others, bought its manufacturing facility in Germany through Pickens. Owning its own factory allows the company to be completely integrated, which is the only way to disrupt Gillette’s long-standing and overwhelming market share in the razor industry, opines Pickens.
“It’s an example of e-commerce vertical integration,” Pickens says. “Selling them the factory allows for the next generation of consumer brand disruption."