Kylie Cosmetics may be homing in on a transaction after all.
The beauty brand of the youngest in the Kardashian-Jenner clan has been seen having conversations with various suitors for years — but now, one well-placed source has said the brand is in talks with Coty Inc. to sell a stake, perhaps 51 percent or more. The price being discussed is at least $600 million, the source said.
As with any M&A discussions, the talks could break down without a deal being reached.
Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner has long been open to the idea of selling the business. When WWD reported on deal conversations in May, Jenner, through a spokeswoman, said that the company’s success had been “incredible” and because of that, “there will always be some interest.”
Both Coty and Kylie Cosmetics declined to comment for this story.
Kylie Cosmetics made a splash when it first launched with lip kits in late 2015. They sold out quickly, and over the next few years Kylie pumped out a series of Kylighter, Kyshadow and Kybrow products, as well as collaborations with sisters Kim Kardashian and Khloé Kardashian. In the first 18 months, Kylie Cosmetics did $420 million in sales.
Since then, growth had slowed, sources said, which prompted the brand to enter Ulta Beauty. Ulta has said publicly that the brand does well for the retailer, and is driving shoppers into stores.
The company was No. 73 on the WWD Beauty Inc. Top 100 list for 2018, with an estimated $360 million in sales.
The beauty category has been a hotbed of M&A activity for the past several years. In makeup, Too Faced, IT Cosmetics and Hourglass were all acquired by strategic buyers, and Anastasia Beverly Hills, one of the largest independent makeup companies, took an investment from TPG in 2018.
But right now, skin care seems to be the hotter category to buy into. Earlier this month, Unilever made a deal for Tatcha that industry sources said approached $500 million. Drunk Elephant, a darling of the indie skin-care world, is also said to be toying with the idea of a deal.
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