Cosmetic Laboratories of America is now part of the KDC/ONE business

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (metamorworks)
© Getty Images \ (metamorworks)

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The Canada-based beauty maker has been growing exponentially since being acquired by Cornell Capital in mid-2018. And the Cosmetic Laboratories of America acquisition is just the latest in what is now a long line of deals that have vastly expanded KDC/ONE.

“CLA has been a premier early formulation developer for decades, as evidenced by the number of large, flagship beauty products the company has developed and launched over the years,” ​says Nicholas Whitley, Chief Executive Officer of KDC/ONE, in his remarks this week about the Cosmetic Laboratories of America (CLA) acquisition.

He goes on to highlight the company’s expertise in the skin care and hair care categories as well as their prominence in the West Coast market as key reasons that this deal makes sense for of KDC/ONE: “With an exceptional leadership team, a reputation for speed-to-market and best-in-class assets producing prestige skin and hair care products, CLA is the ideal partner for KDC/ONE as we look to invest in and solidify our West Coast footprint, further enhance our creative, cutting-edge offerings and scale our end-to-end capabilities in the region,” ​Nicholas tells the press.

Some history behind the Cosmetic Laboratories of America and KDC/ONE deal

Cosmetic Laboratories of America employs some 350 people, has been operating since 1971, and is headquartered in Chatsworth, California (where the company also has its manufacturing and warehousing facilities).

The company has changed hands a few times since its founding. In 1996 CLA, along with the St. Ives brand (which CLA developed and launched in 1980), was acquired by Alberto Culver in 1996. That company was then bought by Unilever, and in 2012 Visual Pak Co. acquired CLA. So this latest deal is simply a next chapter in CLA’s history book.

Commenting on the deal, Oscar Saldarriaga, General Manager of CLA says, “We are excited to join the KDC/ONE family and work alongside its world class team to provide our valued customers with an expanded suite of offerings as part of a growing global platform.”

“Over the years,” ​adds Saldarriaga, “CLA has built a platform recognized for innovation, quality and reliability. With KDC/ONE’s unmatched track record of innovation and local and global scale, I am confident that together we will achieve our goal of cementing our position as the custom developer and manufacturer of choice on the West Coast.”

Beyond the St. Ives brand CLA counts the development of hair brand formulas for the likes of MillCreek and NEXXUS among its notable accomplishments.

Seemingly no end in sight for KDC/ONE acquisitions

KDC/ONE has been making news across the Cosmetics Design sites for months with all of the company’s acquisition activity. In July of last the year, for instance, KDC/ONE bought France-based Alkos.​ That same month, KDC/ONE bought the manufacturing business division of England-based Swallowfields​.

In November 2019, the company bought Benchmark Cosmetic Laboratories​ to establish a West Coast innovation hub here in the States. This past January, KDC/ONE bought Shanghai Paristy Daily Chemical Co.​ And, most recently the company bought a home air care company called Zobele Group​.



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 traveling next to the Personal Care Product Council’s annual meeting; if you’ll be there too and have beauty business news to share, feel free to contact her at qrnaan.hgebfxr@jeoz.pbz

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