Puig closes in on $1bn deal for Charlotte Tilbury
Spanish group Puig is negotiating a deal to acquire British make-up brand Charlotte Tilbury in a move valuing the business at $1 billion (£794m). The agreement, whose terms represent a rare example of a large transaction taking place during the coronavirus outbreak, could be announced this week.
Puig is thought to have partnered with Byron Trott’s investment firm BDT Capital Partners on the purchase, reported Bloomberg. The brand’s founder Charlotte Tilbury is expected to retain a minority stake after the transaction. The business, founded in 2013, is well known for its celebrity links, as well as glam aesthetic.
Several companies had expressed interest in buying the brand, including consumer goods business Unilever, American beauty giant Estée Lauder and Japan’s Shiseido. Neither Puig nor Charlotte Tilbury immediately responded to FashionNetwork.com’s requests for comment.
On the back of endorsements from the likes of American model Karlie Kloss and actress Penelope Cruz, the beauty brand has gained global traction among young, affluent consumers. With a presence in over 70 countries, the upscale company has more than 3.5 million Instagram followers. Celebrity collaborations and influencer partnerships have helped build its online profile, as well as regular content with leading make-up artists, tutorials and product demonstrations.
If successful, the deal will mark a significant milestone for Puig. The Spanish group is keen to expand into the colour cosmetics market, after spending years specialising more on fragrances. Agua Brava, L'Artisan Parfumeur and Eric Buterbaugh Los Angeles are some of the fragrance brands it develops and distributes, and its portfolio also includes licenses for Christian Louboutin, Comme des Garçons Parfums, Adolfo Domínguez and Prada Parfums, to name a few. Puig also has a selection of owned brands such as Paco Rabanne, Nina Ricci and Carolina Herrera.
And the business has been on a shopping spree of late. Last year it acquired minority stakes in Colombian company Loto del Sur and Indian firm Kama Ayurveda. But perhaps its biggest move yet came in 2018, when Puig became a majority shareholder in designer fashion brand Dries Van Noten. The Belgian designer, who founded his eponymous label in 1986, remains as chief creative officer and retains a minority stake in the brand.
The expansion exposes the financial prowess and strength of the Puig family. The Barcelona-based company had record revenues in 2018, reaching €1.93 billion, and profits of €242 million. Both Paco Rabanne and Carolina Herrera are expected to see sales rise to €1 billion by 2025, helping the group reach revenues of approximately €3 billion.
A sale to Puig would also be significant for Charlotte Tilbury, making it one the biggest deals in the beauty sector since Coty acquired a 51% interest in Kylie Cosmetics for $600 million last year.
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