Private equity firm Hammond, Kennedy, Whitney & Co. has invested in beauty business Indigo Wild.
The Kansas City, Mo.-based business manufactures and distributes natural bath, skin, home and cleaning products. It is best known for the Zum product line, which includes the best-selling Zum Bar goat’s milk soap, $5.95. Indigo Wild’s body care lineup includes things like a Frankincense & Myrrh Zum Wash, $13.50, and Zum Lab Shampoo Bar, $6.25. The brand’s cleaning lineup includes Sea Salt Zum Clean Laundry Soap, $24.95, and Zum Glow Soy Candles, $15.50.
Founded in 1996 by Emily Voth, Indigo Wild has a natural-ingredient focus that includes things like organic olive and castor oils, and excludes things like synthetic foaming agents, parabens and phthalates. The company sells its products online through its Web site and the organic food channel, including Whole Foods. Industry sources said the brand has between $30 million and $40 million in sales.
Indigo Wild represents the first beauty deal for HKW. Its other investments include Panos Brands, a packaged food company, and Allied Vision Group, a contact lens distributor. HKW joins the long line of private equity firms making their way into beauty. Other recent entrants have included Warburg Pincus, which is backing Glansaol, the owner of Clark’s Botanicals, Laura Geller and Julep, as well as Winona Capital-backed Ancora, which has invested in Indie Lee and Vapour Organic Beauty. Other entrants include Ares Management, which owns DevaCurl, and Gryphon, which owns a majority stake in Milani.
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For HKW, the Indigo Wild investment not only provides access to the fast-growing beauty space, but gives the firm a foothold in the natural category, which has grown as consumer interest in overall wellness has expanded. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Investment bank Moelis advised Indigo Wild on the transaction.
While industry sources indicate the beauty M&A market may begin to experience a bit of a slowdown from its years-long hot streak, the deals have continued to trickle in lately. Recently, JD Beauty acquired curly hair brand Ouidad. Before that, Astral Brands acquired Butter London. In two massive deals, Pat McGrath is said to have secured a more than $1 billion valuation with a minority investment from Eurazeo, and Anastasia Beverly Hills was said to be valued at $3 billion when the brand sold a 38 percent stake to TPG Capital.
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