JH Partners increases cosmetics foothold

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hair care brand, Skin care line, Skin

San Francisco-based private equity firm JH Partners has increased
its investment in the cosmetics sector with the acquisition of its
first hair care brand, Ouidad, adding to the recent acquisition of
the Kate Somerville skincare brand.

The company, which came to the fore in the cosmetics sector through its investment in the now extremely popular Bare Escentuals brand, said that the executives within Ouidad would remain the same, except for the addition of Hillary Solomon, director of marketing at Frederic Fekkai, who replaces company CEO Peter Wise. Ouidad hair care products are mainly aimed at the ethnic hair care market, targeting it with products that the treat curly or frizzy hair commonly associated with blacks or Latinos, and anyone else wanting to control springy locks. The range includes shampoo and conditioners aimed at kids - KRLY kids, while other product lines aimed at adults are divided into five main categories that include remedies, tamers, quenchers, boosters and finishing products. JH Partners says that through its investment it aims to expand the hair care brand with a multichannel strategy that will see the product lines available nationwide. Currently the brand is only available in salons mainly on the East Coast and through the company's website. This most recent investment by JH Partners closely follows another investment in the newly incorporated Kate Sommerville Holdings, which holds the rights to the skin care line founded by industry veteran Kate Somerville. Somerville set up Health Experts medi-skin clinic in 2004 in California, and subsequently established a skin care line in the fall of last year. Containing a full spectrum of products, the skin care line is sold through the clinic, high-end retailers, spa outlets, direct marketing television channels and the Kate Sommerville website. As with the investment in the Ouidad hair care brand, JH Partners is expecting that further investment in the Kate Somerville skin care line will help to broaden the scope for its distribution channels within the US market. Through its two most recent investments in the cosmetics sector, JH Partners is helping to replicate its success with the Bare Escentuals natural cosmetics brand, which has recently extended its reach globally through a distribution agreement that will soon see its products hit the European market.

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