Perspectives from ISB

L’Oréal is a French cosmetics company founded in 1909 by Eugène Paul Louis Schueller. The founding family still owns close to 33% shares in the company that is today the world’s largest cosmetics company. The company has a history of making big acquisitions. In 2006 it acquired The Body Shop for £562 million, while in 2014 it acquired the major Chinese beauty brand Magic Holdings for $840 million. Now in another major deal the company has agreed to acquire IT Cosmetics for $1.2 billion in an all-cash transaction. The deal is L’Oréal’s largest acquisition in eight years.

IT Cosmetics was founded in 2008 by former TV news anchor and beauty queen Jamie Kern Lima and her husband, who started out by selling makeup out of their California apartment. Today, the company is backed by TSG Consumer Partners and makes more than 300 products. Sales in the 12 months ended in June were $182 million.

After the completion of the deal, IT Cosmetics is slated to become part of L’Oréal’s Luxe division and will continue to operate out of its Jersey City, N.J., headquarters under its current leadership. The company’s Luxe division, which includes brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani, increased sales revenue by 4.4% last year, the biggest jump among all business divisions of L’Oréal.


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