IT Cosmetics — a fast-growing problem-solution makeup brand — might be headed to the public markets.
The company, which is partially owned by TSG Consumer Partners and Guthy-Renker, is interviewing investment banks to lead the process for a potential initial public offering, said an industry source.
Talk about IT Cosmetics’ IPO aspirations follows reports earlier this week that the Procter & Gamble Co. may be weighing a move to take its beauty business public.
P&G’s beauty brands dwarf IT Cosmetics, but the seven-year-old niche cosmetics company has been on a growth tear in recent years.
Founded by former TV news anchor Jamie Kern Lima and her husband Paulo Lima, IT Cosmetics is now sold in all Ulta doors and on QVC.
Several of its newest products include CC+ Liquid Lip Serum, CC+ Ombré Waterproof Bronzer and CC+ Veil.
Its sales have rocketed in recent years. IT Cosmetics reached an estimated $200 million in retail sales in 2014, up from $81 million the prior year, according to industry sources. It is projected to hit $250 million by yearend.
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In the first quarter, the company filled two key management posts in a move one observer said could be a sign it is readying for an IPO.
Robert Mihin was hired as senior vice president of operations. He previously spent 13 years at Benefit Cosmetics, most recently as executive vice president. The company also nabbed Allison Slater Ray — who had spent 10 years at Sephora, most recently as vice president of marketing — as senior vice president of marketing. Working closely with Kern Lima, the brand’s chief executive officer, she will oversee marketing and social and creative department functions.
Both Kern Lima and TSG declined to comment going public.
An IPO would make for a dramatic exit for TSG, as IT Cosmetics is the last beauty brand in the private equity fund’s portfolio. TSG has spent the better part of 2014 selling off beauty brands, including E.l.f. Cosmetics and Perricone MD, and earlier this year it sold the spa-orientated skin-care brand Pevonia back to the brand’s founders Philippe and Sylvie Hennessy.