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L’Oreal will spend $1.2 billion to buy IT Cosmetics

July 22, 2016 02:28 PM
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(Bloomberg)—L’Oreal SA agreed to acquire IT Cosmetics for $1.2 billion in cash, adding more than 300 skin-care and makeup products to its lineup.

IT Cosmetics, backed by TSG Consumer Partners, will become part of the Luxe division of L’Oreal, according to a statement on Friday. IT will continue to operate out of its Jersey City, N.J., headquarters.

L’Oreal, No. 306 in the Internet Retailer 2016 top 500 Guide with an estimated $76.9 million in 2015 web sales, is turning to IT Cosmetics to help spur growth. IT Cosmetics, which was founded in 2008, posted a sales increase of 56% to $182 million in the 12 months ended in June, according to the statement. IT Cosmetics sells its products on its website and through QVC Group (No. 10 in the Top 500) and the Shopping Channel, as well as via retailers such as Ulta Beauty (No. 153) and Sephora USA Inc. (No. 129).

“The brand has earned the devotion of its highly engaged consumers and we see potential for significant growth in the years to come,” Frederic Roze, head of L’Oreal USA, said in the statement.

IT Cosmetics was founded by Jamie Kern Lima and her husband, who started by selling makeup out of their California apartment. The business worked with plastic surgeons to develop its cosmetics, aiming the products at women worried about skin problems.

L’Oreal made its largest acquisition in 2008 when it bought YSL Beaute for $1.7 billion. It also paid $4.6 billion to buy back its own shares from Nestle SA in 2014. L’Oreal’s stock has risen 12% this year in Paris.

The Paris-based company, No. 383 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Europe 500, is relying more heavily on North America for growth, offsetting a slowdown for luxury cosmetics in Hong Kong and Brazil.

The deal is a win for backer TSG Consumer Partners, a private equity firm with about $5 billion in assets under management. The firm has made its name by investing in consumer brands and is expanding its fashion and beauty portfolio. Its senior management is more than 40% women, a higher level than at most private equity firms.

 

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