Strategic Buyer Flurry Caps Another Record Year in Beauty M&A

The Beauty Care M&A market witnessed 30 transactions in Q4’19, an increase of 7% over Q3’19 and 3% over Q4’18. Moreover, the Beauty Care M&A market finished the year with 119 transactions, an increase of 7% over 2018 and marked another record year in deal volume.

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Q4’19 also brought a flurry of strategic acquirer-led transactions in one of the most active strategic buyer quarters in recent memory. The quarter noted deals from virtually all the major strategic acquirers, including Shiseido, Coty, Henkel, Estée Lauder, S.C. Johnson, Helen of Troy, L’Oréal, Unilever, and MAV Brands. While strategic acquirers dominated the quarter, private equity (PE) groups continued to carve out their share of beauty care deal volume with investments announced by Advent International, Main Post Partners, and Cult Capital.

Q4’19 Beauty Care M&A highlights include:

  • Deal volume was up 7% versus Q3’19 and 3% over Q4’18.
  • Strategic acquirers dominated the quarter with deals announced by Shiseido, Coty, Henkel, Estée Lauder, S.C. Johnson, Helen of Troy, L’Oréal, Unilever, and MAV Brands.
  • PE groups were again both buyers and sellers with notable investments by Advent (Olaplex), Main Post (Sugared + Bronzed) and Cult Capital (Lawless Beauty) and exits by Ares (DevaCurl) and VMG (Drunk Elephant).
  • Large beauty care transactions continued to make headlines with multiple deals over $800 million in enterprise value, including Shiseido’s acquisition of Drunk Elephant, Coty’s acquisition of Kylie Cosmetics, Estée Lauder’s acquisition of Dr. Jart+, and Advent’s acquisition of Olaplex.