Advent International may be nearly 40 years old, but the company still has big ambitions in beauty.
Following the successful initial public offering of Advent-backed Olaplex, the firm is doubling down on the industry. During an in-depth conversation with Beauty Inc special correspondent Emily Dougherty, the firm’s managing director Tricia Glynn and Pascal Houdayer, chief executive officer of Advent-backed Orveon, outlined the key objectives.
“There are so many investment opportunities in the industry right now,” Glynn said, noting that Advent’s priority is “to help to explode the growth, or unleash the opportunity” of the businesses it backs.
No other brand exemplifies that potential like Olaplex, the hair care brand Advent acquired in 2019 and is expected to reach a net sales volume of between $796 million and $826 million for 2022. Reaching that size — and scale — took resources. “We don’t start businesses, we invest in them. The founders of Olaplex had built this product that was for damaged hair. We invested in the business and built a brand new infrastructure and foundation with supply chain and finance,” Glynn said.
More recently, Advent has extended its reach to other categories. At the end of 2021, it purchased BareMinerals, Laura Mercier and Buxom from Shiseido, and formed a new multibrand company, called Orveon. Although those businesses were said to be plateauing, Glynn saw potential in the brands’ equity with consumers.
“There’s lots of reasons businesses slow down, but we did a lot of work on the BareMinerals brand,” she said. “We believe that there are loyal customers who love these products, and who want more from the brand.”
“When I think about this category, the beauty industry is really going back to the consumer,” Glynn continued. “You need to find brands you believe in.”
Houdayer described Orveon as the industry’s “sustainable face care” expert, and said he is actively looking to acquire other businesses that fall under that umbrella. In terms of opportunity, he noted BareMinerals’ clean positioning, Laura Mercier‘s makeup artistry expertise and Buxom’s untapped potential abroad. Houdayer envisions adding two new names to fill out Orveon’s portfolio. “We’ve decided to focus on the face,” he said.
To that end, building a company from scratch encompassed more than planning the future of Orveon’s brands. “We had to create everything. So it’s creating a company name, your values, your mission. The vision was to start with three fantastic brands under one ecosystem and vision,” Houdayer said.
Echoed Glynn: “We’re giving talented people the tools to disrupt and build a beautiful brand that we may have long term. That’s a part of our strategic focus.”
Advent is also interested in the wellness sector. “We’re talking a lot about the intersection between wellness and consumer health care, doing it inside the home,” Glynn said, also keeping tabs on “the intersection between how we’re all communicating with customers and how we build our businesses, and the intersection between human wellness and technology. We feel well positioned.”
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