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Alan Ennis Looks to Build Indie Platform With Glansaol

The platform's ultimate goal is to go public, he said.

Alan Ennis, the chief executive officer of Glansaol, is ready to build the next great beauty company.

Ennis detailed the plans for Glansaol, a Warburg Pincus-backed platform he terms a “strategic start-up,” sprinkling in anecdotes from when he first entered the cosmetics industry (he is a former Revlon ceo). There, he would sit down at a table with a mirror and various removers to “try on all the product but then leave the room gracefully.”

Since then, he’s been hooked on the industry, he said.

“As we look at today, we’ve got an evolving recipe — the pace of change is so fast that what is true today may not be true tomorrow,” Ennis said, highlighting the rise of indie brands. “We’re no longer in an evolution, we’re in a revolution.”

After Revlon, Ennis decided to strike out on his own with Glansaol, which focuses on buying and growing indie brands. The business made its first three acquisitions — Julep, Clark’s Botanicals and Laura Geller — in late 2016.

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Glansaol is meant to provide a place for founders to sell that isn’t traditional private equity, which results in a deal in three or so years, or the strategic route, which has sometimes resulted in loss of control. The platform continues to look for indie brands with strong founder stories to acquire.

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Ennis’ idea is to create a group of between five and seven beauty companies, and then take the group public in an IPO, he said. Glansaol buys the company, but then the brand founders invest in Glansaol, Ennis said. The model is meant to let the entrepreneurs focus on running their businesses, and let the platform focus on the other stuff.

“The brand team focuses on what we call the front of the house, and Glansaol the platform takes care of the back of the house,” Ennis said. Right now, the company is in the process of integrating its three acquisitions, but it’s no easy feat. “There are dynamics at play that make the early days hard.…I liken it to raising kids…You endure the moment and you enjoy the memory. Building a platform is hard.”