Eurazeo Brands has acquired a controlling stake in Beekman 1802, a microbiome-focused skin care brand centered around goat milk.
Eurazeo invested $62 million in the company, alongside co-investors Cohesive Capital Partners and the Cherng Family Trust. In total, $92 million was invested.
Beekman was founded by husband-and-husband team Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell from their Sharon Springs, N.Y., farm in 2009. Years ago, the couple relocated to upstate New York, and said, “yes” when a neighboring farmer needed a refuge for his 100 goats. They started selling bars of soap made from goat milk to their neighbors and gradually built Beekman 1802 into a full-fledged skin care line. Last year, the company had $150 million in retail sales, Kilmer-Purcell said at the WWD Beauty CEO summit in November.
The partnership with Eurazeo is meant to allow the brand to expand even further, and to continue learning more about the microbiome, the team said in an interview.
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“As the founders of a company, we have always been self financed so this is a huge step for us to take on an investor,” Ridge said. “We talked to many people, it was a very competitive process.”
The brand chose Eurazeo because of the investment firm’s prestige and consumer knowledge, as well as a “great stable of brands,” Ridge said. Eurazeo also backed Pat McGrath Labs and backs Nest fragrances.
“We felt they could be value added to us, and honestly, having gone through the process and sitting in room after room of middle-aged white men, we really did love that Eurazeo is headed by two women and we felt that was critical in the direction we want to go with our company,” Ridge said.
Eurazeo was attracted to the brand because of its focus on self care and kindness, which is core to Beekman’s mission, said Adrianne Shapira, managing director at Eurazeo Brands.
“Self care is only gaining importance in a post COVID-19 world — being kind to the planet, kind to your community, kind to yourself. Those are table stakes, frankly, and it is such a big part of Beekman’s DNA that it’s frankly a private equity’s dream,” Shapira said.
“The goat is the hero, but to us, this is a unicorn brand,” Shapira said. “We have definitely spent a lot of time in skin, body care, beauty, and I have to say, Beekman knocked our socks off from the beginning.”
Beekman chief executive officer Tomei Thomas said the brand was able to grow because of its community and purpose. “Having that north star and being able to build a very strong community around our purpose has undoubtedly got us to where we are today. Even today, word of mouth marketing is the leading source of acquisition and customer acquisition for the business,” Thomas said.
Beekman grew quickly on home shopping channels like QVC and HSN and, more recently, branched into Ulta Beauty. The brand is “heading into the next phase of growth,” said Thomas, “and that’s why we wanted to bring on a partner — not just for capital, but to bring expertise in the space.”
Going forward, Beekman will look to expand its product range, enter international markets, grow the team and make investments in digital and e-commerce, Thomas said.
The company is bringing on former Shiseido Americas CEO Marc Rey as chairman of the board, which will also include Shapira and Eurazeo principal George Birman.
Ridge and Kilmer-Purcell said they plan to stay on with the company, overseeing creative aspects of the business including product development and marketing. Thomas will also stay on as CEO.
To get the amount of goat milk required to run a major skin care brand, the duo have been using dehydrated goat milk from 24 farms in the U.S., Ridge said.
“Even as we plan to go international, if we ever get to that point where we’re manufacturing product specifically for other countries, we would still have the ability to utilize goat milk from those countries as well,” Ridge said. “We will always be rooted in that goat milk heritage. We can see ourselves continuing to develop other nutrients even outside of goat milk to optimize the function of the skin’s microbiome.”
“Our goal is really to spread kindness as far and wide as possible around the world, and it was evident from the moment that the entire Eurazeo team drove to Sharon Springs and came to the farm, met the goats, sat with us on our porch, that these were the partners that would help us do that,” Kilmer-Purcell said.
Moelis and William Hood & Co. advised Beekman on the deal.
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