L’Oreal SA agreed to acquire IT Cosmetics for $1.2 billion in its largest acquisition in eight years, adding more than 300 skin-care and makeup products to its lineup.
IT Cosmetics, backed by TSG Consumer Partners, will become part of the Luxe division of L’Oreal as part of the all-cash transaction, according to a statement. IT will continue to operate out of its headquarters in Jersey City, New Jersey.
L’Oreal is counting on the acquisition to help spur growth at a time when it’s facing a slowdown in parts of Asia and Latin America. IT Cosmetics, co-founded in 2008 by a former TV news anchor and a beauty-pageant winner, increased sales 56 percent to $182 million in the 12 months ended in June, according to the statement. That’s up from about $1 million in 2010.
Skincare deals have been picking up in the middle-market. Estee Lauder Cos. (NYSE: EL) is picking up a stake in South Korean skincare company Have & Be Co; Mylan NV (Nasdaq: MYL) will buy Renaissance Acquisition Holdings LLC’s non-strerile topicals business; and Perrigo Co. plc (NYSE: PRGO) is adding generic forms of Retin-A.
“The brand has earned the devotion of its highly engaged consumers and we see potential for significant growth in the years to come,” Frederic Roze, head of L’Oreal USA, said in the statement.
IT Cosmetics was founded by Jamie Kern Lima and her husband, who started by selling makeup out of their California apartment. The business worked with plastic surgeons to develop its cosmetics, aiming the products at women worried about skin problems. It now sells through QVC and the Shopping Channel, as well as retailers such as Ulta and Sephora.
L’Oreal made its largest acquisition in 2008 when it bought YSL Beaute for $1.7 billion. It also paid $4.6 billion to buy back its own shares from Nestle SA in 2014.
The Paris-based company is relying more heavily on North America for growth, offsetting a slowdown for luxury cosmetics in Hong Kong and Brazil.
The deal is a win for backer TSG Consumer Partners, a private equity firm with about $5 billion in assets under management. The firm has made its name by investing in consumer brands and is expanding its fashion and beauty portfolio. Its senior management is more than 40 percent women, a higher level than at most private equity firms.
--Additional reporting by Mergers & Acquisitions' Demitri Diakantonis.