Anastasia Beverly Hills

Is Anastasia Soare gearing up to sell her beauty business?

Speculation in the market says yes. But asked directly if she hired a bank to conduct a deal, or if she’d like to comment for this story, Soare, the founder and chief executive officer of Anastasia Beverly Hills, said “no.”

A handful of industry sources have said Anastasia has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options. One source said first-round bids were due Dec. 8. Imperial did not respond to a request for comment.

If a deal were to come to fruition, it would be a big one. Anastasia is said to have at least $340 million in net sales, with about $200 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Put in the context of other recent transactions for makeup companies — like It Cosmetics’ 6.1 times sales price tag, or Too Faced’s 5.5 times sales sale price — Anastasia’s price tag could be in the billions, if Soare were to sell the whole thing. (It Cosmetics posted $182 million in sales the year before L’Oréal bought it for $1.2 billion, and Too Faced had about $270 million in net sales the year Estée Lauder agreed to pay $1.45 billion for the business.)

For Soare, a sale process would mark a departure from her previously M&A-averse attitude. At the WWD CEO Summit in West Palm Beach, Fla., in 2016, Soare acknowledged the interest the brand had received from potential partners, but said: “I own 100 percent of the company, if you are curious about that. I don’t have any investment, and I’m not planning to get any [any]time soon.”

Sources speculated that the company could be a target for major beauty players like the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., L’Oréal, LVMH, Shiseido or Unilever, or large private equity firms.

Soare is largely credited with putting eyebrows on the beauty map, and in 2014 launched into other color products. Today, the brand has a full line of brow products, brushes, highlight and contour kits, eye shadows and lip colors. Anastasia is sold in prestige retailers, including Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Macy’s and Nordstrom.

Anastasia has a large social following with 15.2 million followers on Instagram and frequently reposts the content of its users. The brand has been toward or at the top of the Tribe Dynamics Earned Media Value list for cosmetics for a while — it was number one for the month of October, with 13 percent year-over-year EMV growth to $104.4 million.

More on Anastasia Beverly Hills:

Anastasia Beverly Hills, Farsali, Brazilian Bond Builder Get Top Spots for Earned Media Value

Anastasia Soare on Millennials, Instagram and Starting With Nothing