Jun 20, 2017
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Unilever to acquire Hourglass, first make-up buy for products giant

Jun 20, 2017

We’ve become used to hearing about LVMH, L’Oréal and Estée Lauder buying trailblazing make-up brands so it’s quite a surprise to hear that Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant Unilever has thrown its hat into the ring too.


Fresh from fending off a takeover bid and putting some of its own food brands up for sale, the company said it has signed an agreement to acquire Hourglass, the luxury colour cosmetics brand.

It’s a first-ever move into the high-end make-up area for Unilever but the company clearly sees major growth potential.
Alan Jope, President of Personal Care at the firm, said: “The colour cosmetics category has been showing high growth-rates, driven by social media content, channel diversity and democratisation of professional make-up techniques, and it therefore presents a significant opportunity. Hourglass is already a successful brand in this space, offering fantastic make-up products that also deliver skincare benefits, and we look forward to continuing to grow this wonderful brand.”

No details were given about the terms of the deal or whether its previous owners retain any stake in the brand.

Founded in 2004 by beauty industry veteran Carisa Janes, Hourglass has carved out a reputation for its innovation, luxe packaging and for the product ‘experience’. The brand has claimed a number of “breakthrough formulations” and is known for using active ingredients in complexion products.

Janes, who is Hourglass CEO, said the brand “continues to challenge the status quo … Unilever’s commitment to innovation and social responsibility is aspirational, and perfectly aligned with our vision for the future of Hourglass.”
The acquisition is expected to close in the autumn, subject to customary regulatory approvals.

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