Is e.l.f. Cosmetics prepping for an IPO?

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Is e.l.f. Cosmetics prepping for an IPO?

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Financial news media is reporting that the company has teamed up with underwriters for a stock market launch expected to take place early next year

Late last week, reporting for and citing anonymous sources familiar with the arrangement, Lauren Hirsch explained that J.A. Cosmetics has hired banks to facilitate an IPO for e.l.f Cosmetics.

Popularity effect

The company has been steadily growing as an industry favorite. e.l.f. is owned by J.A Cosmetics, which is in turn majority owned by TPG Capital. TPG picked up the company in February 2014.

“The cosmetics brand was taken over…for between $200 million and $300 million, sources told Reuters at the time,”​ writes Hirsch. And later that same year, market researcher Kline Group profiled e.l.f. alongside other high-potential brands in its Cosmetics & Toiletries report.

Team approach

As Hirsch recalls, “last year, the company announced a series of executive changes, including a new chief executive officer, Tarang Amin, who previously worked at Clorox Co and Proctor & Gamble Co.”  

It was very early in February that Amin came on board as CEO, president, and director of e.l.f., which he then described as “a vibrant brand and a great opportunity exists for it to become a global powerhouse,” ​according to the company’s statement to press.

He continued with a quick outline of his plans to grow e.l.f., “we will be working closely toward this goal with our partners at TPG Growth by bolstering the brand, leading innovation, expanding distribution, and improving operations. It’s an exciting time for me to join and lead the company.”

Simultaneously the company brought in several other new leaders, including Richard F. Baruch Jr., as SVP, chief commercial officer; Erin Daley, as SVP, chief marketing officer; Scott K. Milsten as SVP, general counsel; and Megan O’Connor as VP of Digital.

“We are fortunate to have this seasoned leadership team join us at e.l.f., each of whom I have worked with in the past and whose experience and commitment will be invaluable to our company,” ​Amin told the press at the time, adding that their “expertise...will enhance our management capacity to pursue an aggressive growth agenda.”

Buyer advantage

Countless beauty brands are clamoring for investor dollars. The e.l.f. business model and growth strategy are certainly working, though the company’s next steps aren’t set in stone:  ​Hirsch’s “sources asked not to be named because the matter is confidential. J.A. Cosmetics did not respond to a request for comment, while TPG declined to comment.”

Several independent brands and startups are seeing success with investors. Hirsch points to NYX and Too Faced as comparable color-cosmetics companies that have done well by being acquired by L'Oréal and General Atlantic LLC., respectively.

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