The owner of WetBrush and Bio Ionic, JD Beauty Group, has acquired curl brand Ouidad.
Ouidad was one of the original companies dedicated to curl care. The brand’s product lineup includes Advanced Climate Control Defrizzing Conditioner, $24, Curl Quencher Moisturizing Shampoo, $18, and Curl Recovery Whipped Curls Daily Conditioner & Styling Primer, $26. Ouidad is sold through the salon and retail channels, including at Ulta Beauty, Dermstore and Amazon.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but industry sources estimated that Ouidad has between $15 million and $20 million in sales. Ouidad was sold by the now defunct private equity firm JH Partners, which acquired the brand in 2007. JH has also backed Bare Escentuals (now owned by Shiseido), Kate Somerville (now owned by Unilever) and Alex and Ani (sold to Lion Capital).
JD Beauty is a beauty platform backed by Topspin Partners, a New York private equity fund that owns a majority stake in JD. Deerpath Capital Management and Star Mountain Capital provided financing for the transaction, and Stifel advised Ouidad on the deal.
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For JD, Ouidad gives the business more heft in hair. With Wet Brush and Bio Ionic, JD has exposure to the hair tools category, but with Ouidad, gains a foothold in hair products. For Ouidad, the deal is expected to “further accelerate the company’s development,” Ouidad chief executive officer Pierre Lampert said in a statement.
While industry sources estimated that Ouidad was not sold with the high multiples of other hair brands — like Oribe or DevaCurl — the brand does sit in two hot subcategories within hair care.
Ouidad’s prestige positioning puts it within the fastest-growing category in the U.S. beauty market — prestige hair — which was up 24 percent for the second quarter of 2018, according to numbers from the NPD Group. And the company’s curl focus gives it exposure to the natural hair trend. In recent years, people have been more frequently opting to use products to enhance their natural hair textures as opposed to reaching for hot tools to change them. The trend is part of the larger movement in beauty towards individuality, which spans hair, makeup and fragrance.
The brand is one of several in hair to do a deal recently. In 2017, Ares Management acquired DevaCurl, a larger, competing salon and prestige curl brand from Tengram Capital for what was said to be $260 million, and later that year, Kao acquired Oribe from Luxury Brand Partners to build its professional hair-care portfolio.
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