Global strategic shift

The operation marks a global strategic shift for Japan’s largest cosmetics group, which is refocusing on higher-margin skin care products, particularly in Asia, with the aim to become a global leader in skin beauty by 2030. Earlier this year, Shiseido agreed to sell its mass market skin-care and toiletries business to CVC Capital Partners in a deal worth 160 billion yen (USD 1.5 billion or EUR 1.3 billion).

Shiseido acquired Bare Escentuals-owned brands, bareMinerals and BUXOM in 2010, in a USD 1.9 billion deal. Laura Mercier was acquired in 2016 for or USD 248 million. According to the Japanese group, the combined sales of the three brands in the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020, accounted for 4.9% of its consolidated net sales.

The company said it will reinvest the funds obtained from the transfer into areas crucial for its long-term growth, “such as development of key brands and acquisitions, mainly in the skin beauty category, digital transformation, and enhancement of production capabilities and innovations."

However, Shiseido will not be pulling out of the US, where it continues to market brands such makeup brands as Nars, Clé de Peau Beauté, the skincare line Drunk Elephant, and fragrance brands including Issey Miyake, Narciso Rodriguez, and Dolce&Gabbana.

New standalone business within Advent

Launched in 1995, bareMinerals is a U.S. leader in mineral-based cosmetics and is considered the creator of “clean beauty”. BUXOM, created in 2007, is a color cosmetics brand focused on “going big, being bold, and feeling sexy.” It is ranked among the top five U.S. brands across various lip categories. Prestige makeup brand Laura Mercier was founded in 1996 and pioneered the natural, “flawless face” category.

According to Tricia Glynn, a Managing Director at Advent, bareMinerals, BUXOM, and Laura Mercier are “clear leaders in prestige beauty and are widely recognized for their quality, authenticity, and innovation, with differentiated products and devoted customers.

Advent will host the three brands into its newly formed affiliate, AI Beauty Holdings Ltd. Upon completion of the transaction, Pascal Houdayer, former Chief Executive Officer of NAOS (Bioderma, Esthederm, Etat Pur), will serve as Chief Executive Officer of the standalone business.

We believe these brands have significant runway for growth, particularly as we see the large and growing color cosmetics market benefitting from secular tailwinds. I look forward to helping expand these brands across new products, channels, and regions, while enabling the new company to realize its full potential,” said Pascal Houdayer.