Henkel’s personal-care portfolio is growing. And this time it’s adding products for curly- and wavy-hair to the mix. 

The Düsseldorf, Germany-based consumer-goods company has agreed to purchase DevaCurl — the hair-care business that sells vegan and “free from” hair-care products, like cleansers, conditioners, styling accessories and treatments for curly-haired girls — for an undisclosed amount. 

“This is a match made in heaven,” Robert Schaeffler, chief executive officer of DevaCurl, told WWD. “What Henkel gives us is a global platform to really take the great products and the innovation and the culture and the community that we have, across the world. With a world-class organization like Henkel, that is available in 125 countries, we can supercharge that global curl rollout.”


Ad imagery from DevaCurl.  Courtesy

Henkel, which is split into three categories — adhesive technology, beauty, and laundry and home care — also benefits from the deal. 

“The acquisition is part of our strategy to expand our position in attractive and fast-growing markets and categories,” Hans Van Bylen, ceo of Henkel, said in a statement. “It will complement and further strengthen our hair professional business.”

Stefan Mund, regional head of Henkel beauty care, North America, added that the acquisition allows Henkel to tap into the curly-hair market. 

“DevaCurl is a category-leading, high growth premium professional brand with a complementary portfolio to Henkel’s,” he said. 

That portfolio includes brands like Nature Box, Schwarzkopf hair care, Dial soaps and Sexy Hair. In July, Henkel acquired a 51 percent stake in eSalon, a custom hair color business. 

Meanwhile, DevaCurl is one of the fastest-growing professional hair care brands in the U.S., said Jens-Martin Schwärzler, executive vice president responsible for Henkel’s beauty-care business. 

“The brand is a perfect fit for our beauty care business and will reinforce the growth momentum of our hair professional portfolio in the world’s largest hair professional market,” Schwärzler said. 

DevaCurl was founded in 1994’s New York City by two stylists. The company has changed hands a number of times to its current owner, Ares Management Corporation, a private equity group. 

In the beginning, the company that now employs roughly 200 people, had about six stylists, Schaeffler said.

“It literally started with the two founders shipping products in their own cars and a couple thousand dollars in the first year,” he said. “It was hand delivery at the beginning. Now it’s a dominant player in this space that is distributed to professional salons, as well as Sephora and Ulta. It’s really been a beautiful journey for this brand. They’ve hit milestone after milestone in the last 25 years.” 

That includes revenues, which are on track to be around $100 million in 2019. In the future, Schaeffler said the company’s two main objectives are to expand internationally and to add “Deva Dudes” to its clientele. 


DevaCurl products.  Courtesy

“The biggest thing for us is looking at going global with this brand,” he said. “That’s a huge focus for us. There’s a huge demand from curly girls —and guys — across the world.”

Investment bank Financo worked as the exclusive advisor to DevaCurl on the deal. As part of the terms of the agreement, DevaCurl will continue to operate as its own separate entity after the acquisition, with the same management team and its own independent e-commerce business. Schaeffler said he expects the deal to close before the end of the year. 

He added that, in addition to the U.S., DevaCurl already had a substantial business in Brazil. But with Henkel, the company plans to expand even further abroad, including parts of Africa and Europe

“A lot of these markets have no curly market,” Schaeffler said. “With our partners we’re planning on creating that curly segment, just like we did here 25 years ago.” 

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