And…another indie beauty firm has been snapped up.
This morning private equity firm, San Francisco Equity Partners (SFEP), announced its acquisition of a majority stake in San Francisco-based beauty company Japonesque, a maker of professional makeup brushes and tools.
SFEP is partnering with Japonesque’s President, CEO and owner, Karen McKay, to capitalize on growing the business, which sells makeup brushes, eyelash curlers, tweezers, makeup cases and other branded products to the prestige and specialty beauty channels, including Ulta. The company also provides house brand beauty tools and color cosmetics programs to specialty beauty, drug and mass customers, including CVS and Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada.
“We see significant opportunity for growth on both sides of the business,” said Scott Potter, SFEP’s Managing Partner, who also serves as Chairman of Yes To, which the company invested in five years ago. “Expanding Japonesque’s branded tools and the recently launched color cosmetics line at retail, particularly at Ulta, is a big opportunity. We also see significant growth opportunities in taking the company’s category management approach to managing the beauty tools and accessories program for large drug and mass retailers to additional customers, as well as continuing to grow with existing retail partners like CVS and Shoppers Drug Mart.”
Founded more than 20 years ago by a makeup artist who was inspired by the tools used in Kabuki theatre in Japan, Japonesque caught Karen’s eye in 2002 an underdeveloped yet magical brand. Now SFEP, which traditionally looks to invest in brands with sales between $10 million and $50 million, looks to take the brand to the next level.
“We were seeking a partner to help Japonesque fully capitalize on the recent expansion of our distribution channels and the increasing demand for our beauty program. Given SFEP’s proven track record of working with consumer growth companies at a similar stage of development such as Method Home, Yes To and ICU Eyewear, they were an obvious choice for Japonesque,” said Karen.
Aspect Consumer Partners, LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Japonesque in connection with the transaction.