Chicago investment bank Lincoln International has hired The Sage Group’s Janki Lalani Gandhi to build up its consumer practice.

Gandhi has advised on many M&A deals in the sector, including the sale of Joie, Current/Elliot and Equipment’s parent company to TA Associates, the sale of Paige to TSG Consumer Partners, the sale of Vince to Kellwood, the sale of Robert Graham to Tengram Capital, the sale of Alexis Bittar to TSG Consumer Partners and the sale of Kooba to Swander Pace Capital.

As a managing director at Lincoln, Gandhi will oversee fashion apparel, accessories and beauty products transactions out of Lincoln’s Los Angeles office. “Lincoln International’s consumer team has seen tremendous growth over the past several years,” said Jim Lawson, chairman of Lincoln International. “We have become one of the leading M&A advisers to consumer, food and beverage, retail and restaurant companies and their owners. Janki joining further strengthens Lincoln’s relevance and deal flow to branded consumer companies and consumer focused private-equity firms.”

“Janki greatly enhances Lincoln International’s capabilities in fashion and beauty in North America — two areas that complement our existing consumer capabilities and continue to see robust M&A activity,” said Brad Akason, cohead of Lincoln’s North America consumer group.

Before joining Lincoln, Gandhi spent 12 years in the investment banking division with Sage, a Los Angeles-based bank that focuses on consumer and retail companies. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics with a finance concentration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Gandhi joins Lincoln during a busy time for beauty deals. In late August, Elf Cosmetics filed for an initial public offering. Before that, L’Oréal inked a handful of deals, including the $1.2 billion purchase of IT Cosmetics, Société des Thermes de Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, the license to use the San-Gervais Mont-Blanc beauty brand and Atelier Cologne. Shiseido has also been on a deal spree, buying Laura Mercier, ReVive and the Dolce & Gabbana fragrance license.

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