Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based middle market private equity firm, announced it will acquire a majority stake in Milani Cosmetics, a leading family-owned masstige beauty company that encompasses two distinct brands, Milani and Jordana. Current owners Ralph Bijou and Laurie Minc will hold significant minority stakes alongside Gryphon. The transaction, which is expected to close in June, is subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As part of the transaction, Michelle Taylor will become interim CEO. Michelle is an Executive Advisor at Gryphon who has held senior leadership positions at Kate Somerville Skincare, Kiehl’s, Lancôme, L’Oréal USA, Chanel, Elizabeth Arden and others. Michelle, along with Gryphon Partners Dennis O’Brien and Keith Stimson, and Gryphon Principal Matt Farron, will join the Board of Directors. Ralph Bijou will continue with the company as President of Jordana Cosmetics and Laurie Minc will continue with Milani as a Senior Advisor. Both Ralph Bijou and Laurie Minc will be on the Board of Directors. The transaction marks Gryphon’s first investment in the beauty sector.
Milani, headquartered in Los Angeles, is a market leader in the cosmetics industry. The company began with the creation of Jordana Cosmetics in 1986 and grew with the purchase and relaunch of Milani in 2001. Milani products are primarily manufactured in the U.S. and Italy. The company’s face, lip and eye products are available in 75 countries and through key domestic retail partners including Walmart, Walgreens, Ulta, Target and CVS.
Moelis & Company LLC was financial advisor to Milani, and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton was legal advisor to the Company and its owners. Financo acted as Gryphon’s financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis as the firm’s legal advisor.