Westman Atelier may be beauty’s next mergers and acquisitions target, industry sources told WWD.
Speculation swirled last week that the company is being courted by major strategic buyers, but the brand’s cofounder David Neville said, “Nothing is happening right now — there is no process.”
Industry sources had told WWD that talks between the clean makeup brand and potential suitors were heating up at the end of 2022, adding that a sale was on the way.
Others acknowledged that while a sale might be premature — Westman Atelier only launched in 2018 — the brand filled gaps in conglomerates’ portfolios with its luxury positioning.
“For brands that are clean and independent, [Westman Atelier] is probably the best one out there,” one source told WWD, who said potential buyers were being quietly approached. “It’s exactly the type of brand companies should be buying.”
Other sources said, however, that this shopping around was only in response to inbound inquiries from large strategic players.
The five-year-old makeup brand was founded by Gucci Westman and Neville in 2018 following lengthy respective careers in beauty and fashion. Westman is a veteran celebrity makeup artist; Neville cofounded Rag & Bone.
The brand received an infusion of capital from Prelude Growth Partners in 2019. The fund didn’t comment on the speculation.
One source denied the claims, saying that Neville and Westman were not exploring sale options and were homing in on growing the business in the year ahead.
The brand’s distribution spans its own website and specialty retailer, including a partnership with Sephora, which kicked off in 2021. At that time sources expected the brand to reach $40 million in retail sales for that year.