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Traub Capital Acquires Mana Products

"It's not often that you think of contract manufacturers who start to think in a merchant and marketing manner."

Traub Capital has acquired beauty manufacturer Mana Products for an undisclosed amount.

Mana was founded more than 40 years ago by Nikos Mouyiaris, who died in 2019. The business manufactures beauty products for a variety of brands, including Mouyiaris’ daughter Ariana Mouyiaris’s Make Beauty, as well as larger companies, including the Estée Lauder Cos.

WWD reported that Mana was considering a sale in August 2019. Mana chief executive officer Robert Jaegly said the process took some time due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that he sees a bright future ahead for the business under Traub. Guggenheim advised Mana on the deal.

“We’ve focused strategically on our innovation and our quality and delivery performance,” Jaegly said. “They understand that innovation is the lifeblood in the personal-care products arena.”

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Mana’s team will stay in place, Jaegly noted. 

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“We love the way they have, in recent months and the last year, really started to develop what I call product merchandising in their category. It’s not often that you think of contract manufacturers who start to think in a merchant and marketing manner, and that’s really starting to happen in an incredibly promising way,” said Mortimer Singer, chief executive officer of Traub and managing partner of Traub Capital.

Mana will remain headquartered in Long Island City, N.Y., where stringent safety measures — including temperature checks, masks and social distancing — have been put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaegly said.

“I think people feel safer here coming to work than they do going to the grocery store. If you were to come here and see all the things we’ve put in place, I think even hospitals would be a little jealous,” Jaegly said.

Mana, traditionally big in makeup manufacturing, is also shifting to accommodate a market that has started to favor skin care. “We’re known for color, we’ll continue to do that. We’re really good at that. But we’ve always had a skin-care lab that’s been great and served our customers well…We’ve actually during this time, expanded that,” Jaegly said. 

“People are taking care of the skin and in better ways than they have — there’s a shift in the ingredients, the clean beauty ingredients, the naturals. Those are the things that are driving the innovation and growth,” he added.

For Traub, Mana was an attractive business because of “complete visibility,” Singer said. “We find it incredibly interesting to back businesses that we feel really deliver end-to-end a controlled product…Ultimately the client base that is the who’s-who of the industry is able to rely on that complete visibility on the product, which we feel in these environments of change is vital to not only our clients, but also a stable business,” Singer said.

Mana is one of several beauty manufacturing businesses that have been acquired recently. In July, Voyant said it would buy Kik’s personal-care manufacturing operation. Also in July, Intercos Group bought the rest of Shinsegae Intercos, a cosmetics joint venture in Korea. And KDC/One has been buying up beauty manufacturing operations for several years, including Shanghai-based makeup formulator Shanghai Paristy Daily Chemical, and HCT.

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