The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant has just inked a deal to acquire the Dallas-based Tigi professional hair products business, as well as its two advanced education academies, for $411.5 million. The companies stated further payments related to future growth may be made “contingent upon meeting certain thresholds.”
The acquisition of Tigi, a subsidiary of Toni & Guy, includes the Bed Head, Catwalk and S-Factor brands, and marks Unilever’s entry into the professional hair care arena. The business will run as a freestanding global business unit reporting to Michael Polk, president of Unilever Americas, and will continue to be based in Dallas. Tigi’s founders, Bruno, Anthony and Guy Mascolo, all brothers, will serve as consultants for the firm, which generated worldwide sales of about $250 million in 2008. They will continue to own and operate its salon business, which consists of about 60 salons in the U.S. and 300 to 400 salons worldwide.
According to Bruno Mascolo, “It was about three years ago we made a decision [to look for a suitor as] we had grown to where we really needed to partner with someone like a Unilever. We were limited in what we could do. The company had very little leverage [in the industry] and once you get to a certain size you need a capital infusion.”
The deal, stated Vindi Banga, president of Unilever’s Foods and Home and Personal Products division, allows the firm to “bring our world-class [research and development] expertise to and offer greater opportunity for geographical expansion.”
With a hair-care portfolio which includes Dove, Suave, Sunsilk and Clear, Tigi’s prestige positioning and salon-oriented distribution network is a departure for Unilever.
Mascolo explained that Unilever’s absence in the category presented itself as a positive.
“They are not interested in acquiring a brand and breaking it down. They wanted to keep it running as a stand-alone and keep on a majority of the  employees.” Tigi’s president, Thomas Reasonover, will retain his position; as a consultant, Mascolo sees himself lending a voice in Tigi’s overall strategy going forward. Anthony Mascolo, he added, will handle much of the firm’s marketing and education.
Martin Deboo, consumer goods analyst at London-based Investec, said, “The challenge for Unilever will be to capture the benefits without compromising Tigi’s culture. It’s generally difficult for large corporations to assimilate small, entrepreneurial acquisitions. But Unilever should have some valuable learnings in this area from the Ben & Jerry’s [ice-cream business] acquisition.”
Launched in 1986, Tigi, which generates about half of its annual sales in the U.S., also has operations in the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany and Australia. Dependant on regulatory approval, the deal is expected to wrap up by the end of March. Michel Dyens and Co. acted as financial advisor to Tigi.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye