Alantra advises Inflexion and Vivona Brands on sale to Webster Equity Partners

Vivona (formerly NPW) was founded in 1992 and aims to deliver on-trend beauty, wellbeing and lifestyle brands to global 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. Its portfolio includes a number of hero brands such as Oh K!, a range of innovative Korean products that are highly acclaimed by key influencers and professional beauty organisations worldwide.

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. 

This segment is also experiencing high levels of private equity interest, with recent transactions including Lion Capital’s investment in HatchBeauty and Bain Capital’s investment in Maesa.  Investment in this space reflects the attractiveness of being able to deliver constant newness and fast innovation to today’s modern consumer.

The Alantra team advising Inflexion and Vivona comprised Matthew Wiseman, Chris Bates, Pippa Hunter and Callum Ross.

Matthew Wiseman, Partner at Alantra, who advised on the sale of Vivona, commented: “We are delighted to have worked alongside the Vivona team as they prepared for sale and developed a strategy for future international growth under Webster Equity Partners’ ownership. Vivona is an example of a business at the very forefront of beauty innovation. Combining a fast innovation model with a strong portfolio of award-winning masstige brands, it has been able to very successfully cater to the needs of millennial and Generation Z consumers worldwide. “

He added: “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.  Already well established in the US, the multi-brand innovation model is developing quickly in the UK, and we expect these businesses to see continued interest from international investors.”

Simon Russell, Executive Chairman of Vivona Brands, said: “We’ve had an incredible journey of growth and transformation with Inflexion at our side. Our rapid growth in the US food, drug and mass channel has enabled us to distribute our brands in over 20,000 top-tier US stores. Inflexion’s support as we built our global infrastructure and entered new markets was instrumental in helping us grow the business. We look forward to continuing our journey with Webster.”

Simon Turner, Managing Partner at Inflexion, commented: “We are pleased that our hard work has led to the successful repositioning of Vivona.  Our tenacity has resulted in a business that has expanded in the US and successfully launched new product lines.  We are delighted to have found a strong new owner to support the continued growth of the business in a growing market, and we wish them all the best in the future.” 

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