The Latest in Beauty News: L'Oreal Buys Urban Decay

Well someone was busy over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was all about business between beauty giant L'Oreal and the ever popular independent beauty brand Urban Decay. News broke in the beauty community Monday that they had been bought out by L"Oreal. Get the deets from the Wall Street Journal article below.


French beauty and skin-care giant L'Oréal SA said Monday it has agreed to buy closely held Urban Decay Cosmetics LLC, adding another footprint in the fast-growing market for higher-end makeup.

L'Oréal didn't disclose financial details, but a person familiar with the matter said the French company is paying between $300 million and $400 million for Urban Decay, owned by private-equity firm Castanea Partners.

The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Urban Decay was on the block and seeking as much as $350 million.

Urban Decay Cosmetics caught the beauty industry's attention in the 1990s with its edgy packaging and products with names like "Perversion" and "Stray Dog." French conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA MC.FR +0.57%bought Urban Decay in 2000, selling it to private-equity investors three years later.

The acquisition "will beautifully complement" L'Oréal's existing brands, said Nicolas Hieronimus, president of L'Oréal Luxe, the company's luxury division that includes brands such as YSL Beauté and Ralph Lauren.

Tim Warner, general manager of Urban Decay, said the deal "will enable Urban Decay to reach its full potential in the marketplace."

Lazard advised L'Oréal and Deutsche Bank AG advised the sellers.

L'Oréal's luxury division has propelled the company's growth in recent months, offsetting slower business in the mass-cosmetics market, amid strong demand for prestigious labels particularly in emerging markets. To boost the division, the company is investing in its high-end and specialist products, buying last year .

L'Oréal said the market for specialist brands represents 44% of the luxury makeup market in the U.S.

Urban Decay is mainly available through specialist beauty retailers such as Ulta and Sephora, rather than mass-market retailers. Being folded into a large global company such as L'Oréal would allow Urban Decay products to be sold globally, and through multiple channels.
L'Oréal is one of the world's largest beauty, hair and skin-care companies, with annual sales exceeding €20 billion ($25.95 billion). It owns brands such as Maybelline New York, Clarisonic and Lancôme.

Story Credit: Anupreeta Das, Nadya Masidlover, Emily Glazer


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