Vivona (formerly NPW) was founded in 1992 and delivers on-trend beauty, wellbeing and lifestyle brands to retailers and beauty-savvy consumers. Headquartered in the UK, Vivona’s products are sold internationally through partnerships with major retailers including Ulta Beauty, CVS, Walgreens and Target in the US and Sephora, Superdrug and Boots in EMEA.
Fast innovation businesses with the ability to build compelling brands are becoming increasingly attractive to investors. Already enjoying high levels of success in the US, fast innovation, multi-brand creators are developing rapidly in Europe. Acquisitions in this space offer personal care manufacturers an opportunity to move up the value chain, while large global beauty corporates are actively investing in their own brand ‘incubators’ so they can innovate at speed.
Investment in this space reflects the attractiveness of being able to deliver constant newness and fast innovation to today’s modern consumer.
This deal is significant as it reflects a number of wider trends that we are seeing in the beauty sector. Masstige products continue to be the fastest growing segment of the market, while disruptive brand innovators such as Vivona are challenging the established beauty powerhouses for market share. Their ability to combine innovation with the creation of brand longevity is driving significant investor interest and as a result, we are seeing increasing levels of acquisition by private equity firms and beauty/personal care companies.
What difference did we make?
Prior to being appointed on the sale of the business, we’d spent time with Vivona and the shareholders defining its future strategy and underpinning the core objectives. During the sale process, we assisted the management team in building a detailed financial plan and articulating the brand’s growth story. This was steered away from its heritage as a lifestyle gifting business, towards a creator of high-growth beauty and wellbeing brands capitalising on the increasing consumer interest in this space.
We used our international reach to undertake a review of potential acquirers in North America, Europe and Asia. Given the business was still in a period of transition towards beauty and wellbeing, we identified the likely acquirer would be consumer-focused private equity rather than trade. During the competitive phase of the sale process, we provided extensive guidance and support to the management team in securing an attractive offer from an established and commercially focussed private equity partner in North America, Webster Equity Partners.
The deal delivered a great result for both Inflexion, who fulfilled their objectives on exit and Vivona’s management team, by leaving them well placed to deliver their ambitious global growth strategy, supported by a partner with extensive experience in the consumer sector.