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L’Occitane Adds Grown Alchemist to Expanding, Clean Beauty Portfolio

Grown Alchemist will join Elemis and Sol de Janeiro at L’Occitane, which is quoted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and has been building a portfolio of premium skin care brands in the clean beauty space.

LONDON — L’Occitane Group has acquired a majority stake in the Australian skin care brand Grown Alchemist.

Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the purchase price was in excess of 50 million Australian dollars, or $37.4 million at current exchange, according to industry sources.

The sale was negotiated by the boutique investment bank Lempriere Wells, which has been working with Grown Alchemist for the past five years, helping the brand to expand internationally.

Lempriere Wells is led by cofounder and managing director Alice Wells, and specializes in global, mid-market M&A for high-growth consumer brands, with experience in the health and wellness, beauty, personal care and skin care sectors.

Wells said that, over the past five years, sales at Grown Alchemist had a compound annual growth rate of 30 percent, and the new deal will help the business expand further.

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She worked on the deal for a year, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and said L’Occitane was originally going to purchase a minority stake in the brand, but the conversation quickly evolved.

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“L’Occitane Group demonstrated a compelling path for the brand and founders, and one that no other prospective investor could match. The transaction is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the founders and expedites what could otherwise be a decade-long journey to a global, scaled business,” Wells said.

André Hoffmann, vice chairman and chief executive officer of L’Occitane, said he was “thrilled to support and nurture this groundbreaking, natural cosmeceutical brand, which encapsulates the entrepreneurial spirit of our group. With a unique and inspiring brand story and international fan base, Grown Alchemist is poised for international scalability and rapid growth.”

L’Occitane Group, which is French and quoted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, acquired Elemis in January 2019 for approximately $900 million, and Sol de Janeiro in November 2021 at a valuation of $450 million.

“We couldn’t be more excited to embark on the next stage of Grown Alchemist’s journey together with the L’Occitane Group, a partner with strong brand-building and omnichannel expertise that will help us grow our community of health-conscious customers globally,” said the cofounders, brothers Jeremy and Keston Muijs.

The Melbourne-based brand offers 100 percent natural, vegan and cruelty-free topical and ingestible skin care products, as well as hair care and body care. It slots well into L’Occitane Group’s burgeoning lineup of premium skin care brands in the clean beauty space.

The group’s overall portfolio includes the flagship brand L’Occitane en Provence; L’Occitane au Brésil; France’s Melvita; South Korea’s Erborian; American brand LimeLife by Alcone, and the group’s beauty startup Duolab, which was launched in early 2020.

It sells in more than 30 countries, and was founded in 2008 by the Muijs siblings after they spent a number of years in Miami operating a creative brand consultancy called Hatch.

Focusing on natural skin care, with minimalist, gender-neutral packaging and a signature, three-phase skin care system of “cleanse, detox, activate,” the brand later expanded into hair and body care and ingestibles.

It boasts cosmetic and nutritional research facilities in London, Paris, Switzerland, Spain and Australia and accreditations from the ACO (Australian Certified Organic) and SCA (SAFE Cosmetics Australia) organizations.

Bestsellers include the Tinted Age-Repair Lip Treatment with tripeptide and violet leaf extract; the Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser with olive leaf and plantago extract; the Detox Serum Antioxidant+3 Complex, and the Age-Repair Eye Cream, with tetrapeptide and centella.