Puig acquires a majority stake in Byredo
Spanish fashion and beauty company Puig is once again pulling out its wallet. After having disbursed $1 billion in acquiring the British firm Charlotte Tilbury in mid-2020, Puig is once again investing in makeup and cosmetics with the purchase of a majority stake in Byredo, the Swedish luxury brand founded by Ben Gorham in 2006. When contacted by FashionNetwork.com, neither the group nor the brand disclosed the total value of the deal.
Rumors about the potential sale of the niche fragrance and cosmetics firm have been circulating for days. But while various media outlets suggested the French giant L'Oréal as a possible buyer, Spanish family business Puig managed to win the final bid. As detailed by the company in an official statement issued on Tuesday, May 31, both Gorham and London-based Manzanita Capital (which financially backs premium beauty brands Diptyque, Malin+Goetz, Space NK and Susanne Kaufmann) will remain as minority shareholders. In addition, Byredo's founder will continue to lead the creative side of the business as chief creative officer.
"We are thrilled to welcome Byredo, as it perfectly reinforces Puig's purpose of empowering people's self-expression, and a strong and conscious commitment in the ESG agenda. Puig will contribute our expertise and resources to the development of this unique brand, which represents modern luxury with a strong consumer connection," said Puig’s chairman and CEO Marc Puig.
"This new acquisition marks a new key milestone in Puig's ambition to develop a business with a strong portfolio of purpose-driven brands," added the Spanish group's CEO. Industry sources value the transaction at around €1 billion.
Gorham highlighted the "steady and significant growth over the last 15 years" of the Stockholm-based brand. He said: "Puig's experience with founder-led brands in beauty and fashion will help us realize our full potential in multiple categories. Puig has demonstrated a competitive and disruptive approach to building businesses, very much in line with Byredo's culture."
Byredo’s creative universe, initially driven by a single fragrance, now includes a complete range of beauty products and accessories sold in 55 different countries and positioned in the premium segment, with perfumes ranging from €140 to €245 and makeup palettes priced at €62. Byredo recorded a 63% year-on-year increase with a turnover of €119 million in 2021. This figure was almost double its sales of €62 million recorded in 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic. In March, the brand placed Lucia Pica, Chanel's former global head of makeup, in charge of co-directing the creative image and development of its makeup products.
William Fisher, CEO of Manzanita Capital, expressed how "proud" he is that Byredo is entering a new phase with "another privately owned family business that shares our passion for building exceptional brands.” Over the past few years, the British company has also sold majority stakes in other brands such as Eve Lom, Kevyn Aucoin and Lipstick Queen. In addition, the company has also made early-stage investments in Cult Beauty, Glossier and A-Frame.
The Spanish company made no secret of its ambitions to continue expanding its portfolio. During the presentation of its annual financial results in April, Puig announced its willingness to proceed with "the search for opportunities that coincide with the company's strategic objectives.” This clear statement of intent came on the heels of the Chinese perfume brand Scent Library's acquisition in September 2021. Just two years earlier, Puig acquired minority stakes in Colombian brand Loto del Sur and Indian label Kama Ayurveda.
Today, the company founded in Barcelona in 1914 operates both in the fashion and in the fragrance, makeup and dermo-cosmetics sectors, with brands such as Apivita, Uriage and its joint venture Isdin. Its brand portfolio includes renowned brands such as Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dries Van Noten, Penhaligon's and L'Artisan Parfumeur; as well as licenses with brands such as Christian Louboutin and Comme des Garçons Parfums, and lifestyle fragrances such as Adolfo Dominguez, Antonio Banderas, Shakira and Benetton.
In fiscal year 2021, the company present in 150 countries rebounded after the pandemic hit, increasing its turnover by 27% over 2019 to €2.6 billion. Puig has also announced its growth targets. This year, the conglomerate aims to achieve sales of €3 billion and an Ebitda of €500 million. The company plans to strengthen its digital business, boost its growth in Asia and focus on diversifying its makeup and dermo-cosmetics categories.
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