Stephens and Associates acquired by SGS

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (anyaivanova)
© Getty Images \ (anyaivanova)

Related tags testing Research Quality assurance

The contract research and testing lab venture, based in the Southwestern US, is now part of the multinational inspection, verification, testing, and certification company SGS.

The deal is meant to grow the SGS beauty business. Both companies serve the cosmetics and personal care industry. In fact, Stephens and Associates (now SGS Stephens) counts cosmetic and consumer product clinical trials among the short-list of services the business is most often engaged to provide.

And, the SGS page dedicated to cosmetics, personal care, and household products explains that the Switzerland-based company “[helps] verify your cosmetic and personal care products’ compliance against the requirements of applicable cosmetic regulations and other relevant legislation, including REACH, GMP, CMRs, aerosol, hazardous substances, etc. [and] can also verify the compliance of…products and manufacturing processes against various social and environmental standards.”

SGS sees growth potential in the cosmetic and personal care industry

SGS works in an array of industries including, agriculture and food; construction; chemicals, rubber, and plastics; electrical and electronics; forestry and forest products, IT; machinery and equipment; medical devices; pharma; oil, gas, minerals, and metals; tourism and hospitality; and transportation.

And the company, which acquired 11 businesses around the world in 2019 and intends to continue “accelerating mergers and acquisitions while remaining disciplined on returns” ​in 2020, according to the 2019 full year financial results SGS published on Monday, sees great potential in beauty.

“Over the past ten years,” ​notes the SGS page on consumer goods and retail, “the cosmetics and personal care products industry has expanded beyond a market solely for women, to include men and children,"​ and highlights the fact that, "m​any products are regulated due to concerns over health and performance.”

The Stephens acquisition, says Frankie Ng, CEO of SGS, in a media release about the deal, “expands SGS’s consumer and retail service portfolio in the clinical testing sector for cosmetic and personal care products in the USA.”

“The combination of Stephens and SGS Harrison Research Laboratories in New Jersey,” ​says Ng “gives SGS a leading position in this field in the USA.”



Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.
Deanna will be speaking next at the Uplink Live event in LA this month​ (save 10% on tickets with code: CD10) and at Green Beauty Night in February​.

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