P&G will acquire indie skin care brand FAB

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

P&G global headquarters (image courtesy of the company)
P&G global headquarters (image courtesy of the company)
Reports are circulating this week that P&G will pay close to $250m for the popular skin care brand founded by Lilli Gordon and known as First Aid Beauty.

FAB is a clean beauty brand with more than 1,300 ingredients on its “no-no list.” The brand’s skin care portfolio is comprised of “everyday essentials and targeted skincare solutions that deliver immediate relief, lasting results and feel-good textures,” ​according to firstaidbeauty.com.

Lilli Gordon founded First Aid Beauty in 2009. And she’ll stay on as the brand’s CEO once it’s a fully owned subsidiary of P&G; so will the brand’s nearly 50 employees, according to Barrett J. Brunsman’s coverage of the acquisition for the Cincinnati Business Courier​.

Preparation

In 2015 Gordon, under advisement from the boutique investment bank Financo, accepted a minority investment from Castenea Partners, as Cosmetics Design reported​.

That deal set FAB on something of a fast track for just this type of acquisition. The partnership with Castenea added Janet Gurwitch (former CEO of Laura Mercier) and Steve Berg to FAB’s board of directors.

“Lili and the team have developed a differentiated brand in the prestige category with a compelling range of products,” ​commented Gurwitch at the time, adding, “FAB has great potential, and we are thrilled to be part of the next stage of its growth.”

Acquisition

The two companies “share a commitment to science-based skin care solutions that really work,” ​Damon Jones, a spokesperson for P&G tells Brunsman. “It’s a great fit for P&G Beauty with its full line of prestige products that deliver skin health solutions specifically designed for sensitive skin and skin conditions.”

Successful acquisitions require more than a good fit. Strategy is key, especially in today’s market where many are looking to support clean, niche brands led by founders they admire.  “P&G has bought other brands before and hasn’t been successful – what we’re doing very differently this time around in P&G  Beauty is treating those brands as stand-alone, often with the founders staying with the brand, ​Alex Keith, president of global hair care and beauty for P&G, tells WWD​’s Allison Collins.

Expansion

More than simply a well-thought out skin care collection, FAB is a fully actualized brand concept. The name First Aid Beauty clearly suggests remedy-based beauty care and the acronym FAB is pretty fabulous branding too. “If you put it together, First Aid Beauty is FAB and FAB travels as a word, as a concept, as a brand,”​ affirms Markus Strobel, president of global skin care and personal care at P&G, in his remarks to Collins.

Gordon created the business this way and already has plans and ideas to expand FAB into other beauty and personal care categories, like complexion products and hair care. “The evolution on the product side isn’t that influenced by this deal,” ​she tells Collins.

And when Brunsman’s asked, Jones couldn’t say whether P&G would be taking on any of FAB’s current or future manufacturing; but the acquisition will certainly accelerate the brand’s move into new categories.

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DeannaUtroskeEditor

Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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