The Anglo-Dutch consumer-products giant this morning issued a statement that it has signed an agreement to acquire Living Proof Inc., the problem-solution hair-care line sold across salon, prestige and mass distribution channels. Living Proof will be placed within Unilever’s prestige division.
A Unilever spokesperson confirmed to WWD that the company has purchased a 100 percent stake in Living Proof, of which actor Jennifer Aniston in 2012 bought a partial stake. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The spokesperson also confirmed that Aniston, who was a frequent spokesmodel for the brand, is no longer affiliated with Living Proof. A spokesperson for Living Proof could not be reached to confirm when exactly Aniston’s affiliation was discontinued.
“The prestige hair retail market is very attractive and offers significant growth,” said Alan Jope, president of personal care at Unilever. “Through compelling product result demonstrations and influencer-driven marketing, Living Proof is already a successful business in this space and we look forward to further developing and growing this wonderful brand.”
Living Proof, founded by venture capitalist and entrepreneur Jon Flint and MIT Professor Robert Langer, is known for launching issue-specific product ranges backed by bio-medical technology. The patented formulas were designed a group of MIT scientists and are meant to tackle common hair woes, such as frizz and volume.
“Unilever shares our deep commitment to science, quality and innovation, making them the ideal partner to take us to the next stage of our journey,” stated Grace Ray, chief executive officer of Living Proof. Ray will stay on with the company under Unilever, reporting from Living Proof’s Boston-area headquarters to Vasiliki Petrou, executive vice president of the prestige division at Unilever.
In 2015, Unilever made headlines as it made a prestige skin-care acquisition spree, snapping up Dermalogica, Kate Somerville, Murad and Ren before the year’s close. The buying spree continued this year with Dollar Shave Club and Seventh Generation, but Living Proof marks the company’s first prestige hair-care acquisition.
Unilever reported sales of 53.3 billion euros in 2015.
Industry sources estimate Living Proof’s overall net sales to be $60 to $75 million.