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Warburg-Backed Glansaol Files for Bankruptcy, Plans Sale

Glansaol owns Laura Geller, Julep and Clark's Botanicals.

Glansaol, the owner of Laura Geller, Julep and Clark’s Botanicals, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Warburg Pincus-backed business filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York on Dec. 19, seeking to sell its assets to AS Beauty LLC. AS Beauty was formed by Alan and Joey Shamah, the founders of E.L.F. Beauty and Fit For Life, and the Azrak family, who previously ran a pajama business that was sold to Li & Fung in 2007.

“The board and management team have thoroughly assessed all of our strategic options and are confident that the proposed sale process represents the best path forward for the company,” said Nancy Bernardini, chief executive officer of Glansaol. “We are pleased to have entered into an asset sale agreement with AS Beauty and are excited for the company’s future.”

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As part of Glansaol’s bankruptcy, the company will reorganize and close its Seattle-based operations, which include three Julep salons and Julep’s corporate office, Bernardini told WWD. Glansaol’s operations will be consolidated into New York, she noted.

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Glansaol has retained Emerald Capital Advisors as financial adviser and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP as legal counsel. AS Beauty has hired Sill Cummis & Gross PC as legal adviser.

Glansaol was formed by Alan Ennis, the former ceo of Revlon, with Warburg Pincus in 2016. The company is structured as a strategic start-up—brands were to sell outright to Glansaol, and owners were to become investors in the parent company. The plan, eventually, was to take a business of between five and seven beauty brands public.

Behind the scenes, there was leadership turnover at the brand level. Elana Drell Szyfer, who was ceo of Laura Geller when Glansaol bought it, left in 2017, and Jane Park, the founder of Julep, is said to be formally exiting the business at the end of this year. Ennis’ role has also shifted, and he was moved to chairman earlier this year when Bernardini was hired as ceo. In September, the business was said to have hired Financo to explore strategic alternatives.

Inside Glansaol, both Clark’s and Julep are said to be growing quickly, while Laura Geller has struggled—but its core collection, sources said, is doing well. The businesses have all faced increased competition as more and more brands hit their primary places of distribution—Ulta Beauty and QVC.