Boston private-equity company TA Associates has received clearance from the Federal Trade Commission to potentially buy a stake in Paula’s Choice from Bertram Capital.
As previously reported, Bertram tapped Piper Jaffray & Co. to sell Paula’s Choice, according to multiple industry sources. The Hut Group was also named by sources as a competitive bidder, but sources said they dropped to second place in the auction. One source said the second-place bidder came in at $230 million, a price that was deemed too low. Paula’s Choice has estimated revenue between $120 million and $150 million, according to a source.
TA Associates, a private-equity company based in Boston, backs businesses including Zadig & Voltaire and Full Sail University. The regulatory news does not mean a deal has closed.
Paula’s Choice, headquartered in Seattle, sells skin-care and cosmetics products online, and provides a forum called Beautypedia for reviewing products from other brands. The business was founded by Paula Begoun in 1995 after years of researching and reviewing beauty products led to her develop her own line. Begoun is the author of “The Original Beauty Bible” and “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me.” Paula’s choice also includes an advice section that features tips on skin care, hair care and makeup, as well as information about product ingredients.
Bertram, a San Mateo, Calif.-based private equity firm, has backed Paula’s Choice since 2012. He declined to comment for this story. Representatives for TA also declined comment. A spokeswoman for Piper Jaffray also did not return a request for comment by press time.