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Catterton Partners Buys StriVectin

The private equity firm Catterton Partners, through its holding company Chrysallis, has acquired the StriVectin brand from Klein-Becker.

StriVectin sees more wrinkles ahead.

This story first appeared in the July 14, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

At least that’s the hope of the private equity firm Catterton Partners, which acquired the stretch mark cream-turned-cult wrinkle fighter from Klein-Becker. The brand will be managed by Chrysallis, Catterton Partners’ beauty industry-focused management team.

The terms of the acquisition, which includes StriVectin’s related assets, were not discussed.

Lorin DeMordaunt, a managing director and cofounding partner of McColl Partners, the investment bank that advised Klein-Becker on the sale, said, “In today’s market, it was a very good deal. The management team at Klein-Becker did a great job of positioning the brand, and the Chrysallis group is the right transition team. Sometimes, even in a bad economy, good things can occur.”

StriVectin is estimated to generate $100 million in retail sales, and is carried in Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Sephora, Ulta and CVS Pharmacy’s Beauty 360 doors.

Soon after StriVectin’s introduction in 2003, women began clamoring that the $135 cream not only lessened their stretch marks, but the lines on their faces, as well. StriVectin’s flurry of print advertisements, complete with an 800 number, stoked demand and displays in departments stores — including on Bloomingdale’s cosmetics floor — soon followed. In recent years, the noise surrounding the brand has quieted.

StriVectin is positioned as an antiaging, problem-solution range that includes products such as StriVectin Instant Facial Sculpting Cream, StriVectin-SD Eye Cream, StriVectin Neck Cream and StriVectin-WF Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler.

Chrysallis — led by chief executive officer Melisse Shaban and chief marketing officer Jill Scalamandre — aims to broaden the now seven-item line into multiple antiaging platforms and categories, and to expand its presence internationally. A design update is also planned and will begin appearing at retail in about a year. New products will follow in six-month intervals.

“We need to blow the dust off [StriVectin] a bit,” said Shaban. She noted Chrysallis will rely on essentially the same team to bolster the StriVectin brand as it did for Frédéric Fekkai & Co., which was sold to Procter & Gamble Co. in 2008. As for whether the brand will retain its medicinal look, Shaban said the goal is to modernize the brand without losing its heritage. Chrysallis also plans to introduce StriVectin formulas infused with technology mined from Niadyne Inc., another skin care company owned by Catterton, and to flesh out the line with products sold at lower price points.

“Aspirational beauty needs to readjust its thinking,” said Shaban, referring to the changing shopping patterns that have taken shape during the recession. “The reality is consumers are behaving differently.”

Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, said, “Broadening the price to reach a wider audience is a growth innovation.” Referring to its planned redesign, she said, “There’s a lot of room to grow before running the risk of denigrating its [clinical] skin heritage.”

Shaban said, “StriVectin is a suite of products that have scale,” later adding that just a few items generate 40 percent of the brand’s revenue. Referring to the brand’s potential, she added, “It’s the perfect storm: It’s a sizable brand, we have a great management team and a platform of technology that has yet to be exploited.”

According to data from The NPD Group, as provided by Chrysallis, in April, StriVectin was the fastest-growing antiaging brand and it also is one of the top 20 prestige skin care brands in the U.S.