NYX Cosmetics, the indie mass-market brand known for its makeup artistry positioning, is looking for a buyer.

This story first appeared in the March 19, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The U.S. employees of the Los Angeles-based firm, founded in 1999 by Toni Ko, were notified on Monday at a company event that NYX was exploring strategic alternatives, particularly as it plots its global expansion, according to industry sources. The company is said to have tapped investment bank Piper Jaffray for the purpose. Currently, about 25 percent of NYX’s sales are international.

NYX has captured the attention of industry observers — and potential strategic and financial players — for its meteoric growth in mass color cosmetics, an area dominated by large brands owned by the likes of L’Oréal and Procter & Gamble Co.

NYX has recorded an average annual growth rate of almost 50 percent for the last five years, according to the company, which declined to comment on talk of a potential sale.

Its wholesale sales are said to surpass $100 million, according to industry sources. The brand is sold across mass retailers such as Ulta, CVS Pharmacy and Target.

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The company’s prowess on social media, including YouTube and Instagram, has further piqued competitors’ interest.

When it comes to YouTube conversion footprints — or total views of videos mentioning a brand — NYX ranked third among beauty brands with 318 million video mentions, behind only Urban Decay with 347 million and Maybelline with 371 million, according to Pixability, a data software company that helps major brands with YouTube.