Pacifica

Pacifica has a new investor.

Private equity firm Alliance Consumer Growth has made a minority equity investment in the better-for-you, mass-market beauty company, with plans to deepen the brand’s existing retail relationships with places like Ulta Beauty, Target and Whole Foods, as well as heighten focus on the brand’s natural positioning. Financo arranged the transaction.

“We think that there’s a lot of really interesting innovation happening in beauty in general, with a big focus on better-for-you beauty,” said Julian Steinberg, managing partner at ACG. “What we’ve been seeing…is that better-for-you beauty is really coming to mass in a big way.”

Pacifica, founded in 1997 by husband and wife Billy Taylor and Brook Harvey-Taylor, makes natural skin-care, cosmetics, bath and body, fragrance, hair-care and nail-care products. The brand is also vegan and cruelty-free. The business’ product lineup includes everything from $11 eyeliner to $14 nail polish, $18 Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation to $22 perfume and $16 soy candles.

With ACG on board, the plan is to “make natural ingredients a huge part of mass in a way that no other brand has done before at this point,” said Brook Harvey-Taylor. She added that with beauty subscription business Ipsy, Pacifica has a “higher-than-average customer repurchase intent and higher-than-average reviews.”

“We are the first natural-based brand that has been able to play in the mainstream beauty space with this kind of success,” she continued. “The beauty space is changing so fast and adopting brands like Pacifica in a new way.”

With ACG, Pacifica is bringing on an investor that also backs natural skin-care darling Tata Harper and in Millennial-focused Nudestix. “We’ve focused on our product, not on marketing, and we haven’t focused on really building out our story and that’s something that’s going to be an important part of having extra capital…widening our consumer base and making sure we’re telling the right story,” Harvey-Taylor said. “Right now we put something on the shelf and it sells and that’s been our strategy, and now we have an opportunity to branch beyond that.”

“We’ve been a brand for 20 years, and we’ve always been independent — one of the original indie brands, and we decided over the last couple of years that it would be interesting to partner with somebody who has more knowledge than we have, and who could help us take the brand to the next level.”

“For us, it’s really about product and making sure you’re creating an experience and making sure you’re creating a brand that has longevity,” Harvey-Taylor said. “ACG’s point of view is really about brand experience and building a brand that has more depth and breadth than a one-hit wonder. We are aligned in the fact that our goal really is to create the brand that is a lifestyle brand that really addresses people’s needs.”

Pacifica is growing at triple digits in its current retail partners, according to Harvey-Taylor, and those partners will continue to be the brand’s focus. “Our big growth right now is in cosmetics and skin care,” Harvey-Taylor said. “We have really been focused on working with Target and Ulta [Beauty] and being the best we can be in those retailers. For us, we have a lot of room to grow, but we’ve been really careful and really thoughtful about our growth.” The brand is also sold through Whole Foods. Terms of the ACG investment were not disclosed.

ACG expects Pacifica to continue growing at a considerable rate. “It’s a company that has the ability to be five to 10 times larger in the next few years,” Steinberg said.

Pacifica is the latest of a flurry of M&A deals in the beauty space, with activity coming from both private equity firms and strategic players. On the private equity side, TA Associates recently invested in mass-market hair-care brand Marc Anthony, and Tengram Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in skin-care brand Algenist for $20 million.

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