NEW YORK — The Brazilian economy may be sputtering, but its consumers value their beauty routines. And that appeal wasn’t lost on Coty Inc. as it announced the purchase of the beauty businesses from Hypermarcas on Monday for about $1 billion.
Those brands include leading Brazilian labels in hair care, hair color, nail, men’s and skin care which produced annual revenues of $253.5 million in 2014.
According to Euromonitor, Brazil is the third-largest beauty market. Other market research puts the country at either number one or two in hair sales and second in fragrance purchases. Those are all synergistic businesses for Coty following its blockbuster $12.5 billion purchase of 43 logos from P&G earlier this year — including Wella and CoverGirl.
“Brazil is central to the Coty story, given the size of the fragrance market, followed by hair care, which they picked up with P&G and now have the infrastructure to rollout, and nail care,” said Andrew Shore, managing director for Consumer Products Investment Banking at Moelis & Co. “Bart [Becht, Coty’s interim chief executive officer and chairman] is on a mission to reinvent and diversify the company.”
Another analyst contends that Coty is “now L’Oréal’s only real multichannel and multibrand competitor.”
Stifel analyst Mark S. Astrachan said the deal makes sense from an increased distribution point of view and from the standpoint of building infrastructure to support the larger Procter & Gamble brands that Coty is in the process of taking on. Beyond that reasoning, Astrachan said he is waiting to hear from management about growth prospects and other key issues.The deal also takes Coty into new territories beyond its strongholds in North America and Europe. Coty would become the world’s number-three beauty marketer behind L’Oréal and Estée Lauder following the close of the P&G acquisition.
In some ways, Hypermarcas’ shedding of its beauty businesses parallels P&G’s divesture of its brands that were no longer considered part of the bigger picture. Hypermarcas is Brazil’s largest marketer of over-the-counter medicines and with the sale of the beauty concerns, company officials said they can focus on its core pharmaceuticals business. Market reports are that Hypermarcas also wants to find a buyer for its diaper business. The businesses being bought from Hypermarcas include Monange personal-care products, Bozzano men’s care, Biocolor hair color, Paixão skin care and Risque nail polishes.
“Today’s announcement is another step in our progression toward creating a pure-play global leader and challenger in beauty,” said Becht. “We expect that the strength of the brands, the impressive leadership team and its robust infrastructure will enhance Coty’s competitive position and very much complement our contemplated merger with the P&G Specialty Beauty Business.”
In particular, those familiar with the deal said it yields a complete infrastructure — factory and go-to-market capabilities — for Brazil. The only issues could be who will integrate the assets with some suggesting the P&G team could prove useful in gearing up for growth in Brazil.