Cover FX spent years developing foundation shades to match faces across the globe. Now, it will have the means to go there.


Greenwich, Conn.-based Catterton Partners has purchased a majority stake in the coverage cosmetics specialist for an undisclosed amount. Cover FX, with volume estimated by market sources of about $15 million, will remain headquartered in Toronto. Its founders — president Lee Graff, vice president Jenny Frankel, dermatologist Neil Shear and former MAC partner and co-founder Victor Casale, as well as chief financial officer Thomas Bond — retain ownership interests in the brand. Graff, Frankel and Bond are keeping executive posts.


“This is the fuel that Cover FX needs to propel us to the next level and provide us not just with capital to help us with obvious operational improvements, but they will also provide us resources such as a network of people and expertise in domestic and international markets to ensure that our brand is positioned fairly quickly for tremendous growth,” said Frankel.


“With its innovative products, medical heritage, brand positioning and passionate leadership team, Cover FX is uniquely positioned to realize dramatic growth,” said Jon Owsley, a partner at Catterton.


Catterton Partners, which has $2.5 billion of equity capital under management, has a history of investing in beauty brands and had notable success with Frédéric Fekkai. The firm initially invested in Fekkai in 2005, and Procter & Gamble purchased the firm from Catterton three years later. Beauty brands in Catterton’s current portfolio include Zeno Corp., StriVectin and Niadyne Inc.


Cover FX’s origins can be traced to 1985, when Shear established the CosMedic Clinic at Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto with Graff concocting foundations to help camouflage patients with a variety of dermatological concerns. Casale, who met Graff in 1999, involved Frankel, a chemical engineer with experience at MAC, where Bond had been chief operating officer.


Cover FX officially was launched in 2000, entered retail with Shoppers Drug Mart in 2003, hit the U.S. and U.K. retail markets in 2006 and landed at Sephora in 2007. The brand is found in more than 1,200 locations worldwide and has continued building relationships with hospitals.


Foundations account for 57 percent of Cover FX’s sales, primers for 20 percent, concealers for 14 percent, and the rest of the business is divided between bronzers, brushes, setting powders and lip products.


This fall, Cover FX will be rolling out from five stores at The Bay to 91 stores and launching on QVC in the U.K. this fall.

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