PARIS —L’Occitane International SA has taken a 40 percent stake in LimeLight by Alcone’s business in the U.S. in order to ramp up its own push into the color-cosmetics category.The natural ingredients-based beauty maker said Tuesday that its board of directors had green-lighted the investment. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.LimeLight was founded in 2015 by Alcone Co. and has all-natural skin-care collections, plus personalized makeup palettes. “It utilizes a unique distribution network with beauty guides and an online presence in the U.S.A.,” L’Occitane said. “The investment is a good fit in terms of entrepreneurial spirit and management style, with LimeLight’s existing management team to remain in place.”The company also plans to take a majority stake in a joint venture with LimeLight to develop the business model abroad, L’Occitane continued.The group has been building a portfolio of cosmetics brands with formulations based on natural ingredients, while looking to intensify its push into the color-cosmetics category.“It will also add further value to its ongoing omnichannel expansion strategy through the incorporation of LimeLight’s unique distribution and online sales business model,” according to L’Occitane.For its part, LimeLight will have access to L’Occitane’s research-and-development capabilities and production facilities.“As we expand into the color-cosmetics sector and explore the growth potential from new business ideas, we have been actively looking for quality brands that align with our corporate ethos of using the best natural ingredients and respecting the environment while also offering a high potential return on investment,” said Reinold Geiger, chairman and chief executive officer of L’Occitane.“We applaud L’Occitane’s forward-thinking understanding that connecting with consumers in this new digital age is not just about programming another device application but also building and training a sales force that can capture a vast social media following and then help that following discover personalized beauty solutions through out-of-store, one-on-one relationships,” added Michele Gay, a cofounder and coceo of LimeLight.L’Occitane, which was conceived in Provence, France, is a global prestige beauty company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It owns four other beauty brands, including L’Occitane en Provence, Melvita, Erborian and L’Occitane au Brésil.In the latest WWD Beauty Inc Top 100 ranking of beauty manufacturers, L’Occitane placed 27th, with estimated sales in 2016 of 1.31 billion euros, or $1.45 billion at average exchange, up 2.3 percent on-year. The company is based in Plan-les-Ouates, Switzerland.Alcone is headquartered in Long Island City, N.Y.More From WWD:Chanel Says It ‘Deeply Regrets’ Boomerang ControversyEtsy Gets Stock Jolt With New Private Equity InvestorsCatherine Walker & Co. Taps Gismondi for Charity Necklace Design
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