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Equity Partners HG Serves as Investment Banker to LORAC Cosmetics in Asset Sale

 

Equity Partners HG, a premier M&A advisory firm to middle market companies in transition, announced that it acted as investment banker to LORAC Cosmetics, LLC, (“LORAC” or the “Company”) in a recently completed sale by U.S. Bank pursuant to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code of the assets of the Company to Markwins Beauty Brands.

Founded in 1995 by Hollywood beauty legend, Carol Shaw, LORAC was one of the original celebrity cosmetic brands with prominent product offerings that included Pro Palette, Alter Ego, and Mega Pro. The Company’s sales were primarily to retail stores throughout the United States including ULTA and Kohl’s, as well as HSN, and through various websites. LORAC also enjoyed a robust social media presence with over 850,000 Facebook likes and over 2 million Instagram followers.

Commenting on the sale, Chief Restructuring Officer, Robert O. Riiska of Focus Management, stated, “I think the assets of the Company fit really well with Markwins’ existing business and this is a great opportunity for Markwins. As part of Markwins, the LORAC brand is well positioned to grow and continue to be successful as a result of the sale. Equity Partners did an excellent job with the marketing of the Company, and we believe the best result was achieved.”

Markwins Beauty Brands is a global leader in beauty and cosmetics. The company, founded in 1984 by CEO Eric Sung-Tsei Chen, is distinguished by groundbreaking product innovation, reimagined go-to-market strategies, and leading-edge supply-chain dynamics. From humble, disruptive origins, the company – famous early as the pioneer of compact palettes and gift sets – stands today as one of beauty’s largest privately-held firms and is recognized within the industry as a top “brand builder.”

With a brand portfolio that includes wet n wild®, Physicians Formula®, Black Radiance®, Lip Smacker®, and Bonne Bell®, the company commands a US FDM share of almost 10, and is enjoying growth that vastly outpaces the industry. With distribution in over 80,000 doors and 80 countries, Markwins Beauty Brands can be found in retail outlets including Department, Specialty, Mass, Drug, and Food stores.

Matt LoCascio, a Managing Director at Equity Partners HG, stated, “We were eager to work with such a well-known brand like LORAC and believe we found the right caretaker for the brand in Markwins. LORAC’s brands are an excellent complement to Markwins already impressive portfolio and it seems the acquisition should only broaden the reach of both brands.”

Professionals who worked in the case include:

Robert O. Riiska of Focus Management served as Chief Restructuring Officer of LORAC
Tom Kelly and Peter Nelson of Dorsey & Whitney LLP served as counsel for the secured lender, U.S. Bank National Association;
C. John M. Melissinos of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP provided representation to LORAC; and• Robert Gaida and Derek Herbert of Stifel served as the investment banker to Markwins Beauty Brands.
David A. Zaheer of Latham & Watkins LLP served as counsel for Markwins Beauty Brands.

Equity Partners HG Serves as Investment Banker to LORAC Cosmetics in Successful Sale of Assets to Markwins Beauty Brands

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Equity Partners HG Serves as Investment Banker to LORAC Cosmetics in Successful Sale of Assets to Markwins Beauty Brands

 

For Immediate Release | June 19, 2018

Equity Partners HG (“Equity Partners”) a premier M&A advisory firm to middle market companies in transition, announced that it acted as investment banker to LORAC Cosmetics, LLC, (“LORAC” or the “Company”) in a recently completed sale by U.S. Bank pursuant to Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code of the assets of the Company to Markwins Beauty Brands (“Markwins”).

Founded in 1995 by Hollywood beauty legend, Carol Shaw, LORAC was one of the original celebrity cosmetic brands with prominent product offerings that included Pro Palette, Alter Ego, and Mega Pro. The Company’s sales were primarily to retail stores throughout the United States including ULTA and Kohl’s, as well as HSN, and through various websites. LORAC also enjoyed a robust social media presence with over 850,000 Facebook likes and over 2 million Instagram followers.

Commenting on the sale, Chief Restructuring Officer, Robert O. Riiska of Focus Management, stated, “I think the assets of the Company fit really well with Markwins’ existing business and this is a great opportunity for Markwins. As part of Markwins, the LORAC brand is well positioned to grow and continue to be successful as a result of the sale. Equity Partners did an excellent job with the marketing of the Company, and we believe the best result was achieved.”

Markwins Beauty Brands is a global leader in beauty and cosmetics. The company, founded in 1984 by CEO Eric Sung-Tsei Chen, is distinguished by groundbreaking product innovation, reimagined go-to-market strategies, and leading-edge supply-chain dynamics. From humble, disruptive origins, the company – famous early as the pioneer of compact palettes and gift sets – stands today as one of beauty’s largest privately-held firms and is recognized within the industry as a top “brand builder.”

With a brand portfolio that includes wet n wild®, Physicians Formula®, Black Radiance®, Lip Smacker®, and Bonne Bell®, the company commands a US FDM share of almost 10, and is enjoying growth that vastly outpaces the industry. With distribution in over 80,000 doors and 80 countries, Markwins Beauty Brands can be found in retail outlets including Department, Specialty, Mass, Drug, and Food stores.

Matt LoCascio, a Managing Director at Equity Partners HG, stated, “We were eager to work with such a well-known brand like LORAC and believe we found the right caretaker for the brand in Markwins. LORAC’s brands are an excellent complement to Markwins already impressive portfolio and it seems the acquisition should only broaden the reach of both brands.”

Professionals who worked in the case include:
• Robert O. Riiska of Focus Management served as Chief Restructuring Officer of LORAC
• Tom Kelly and Peter Nelson of Dorsey & Whitney LLP served as counsel for the secured lender, U.S. Bank National Association;
• C. John M. Melissinos of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP provided representation to LORAC; and
• Robert Gaida and Derek Herbert of Stifel served as the investment banker to Markwins Beauty Brands.
• David A. Zaheer of Latham & Watkins LLP served as counsel for Markwins Beauty Brands.

LORAC Cosmetics, LLC

The Company

LORAC Cosmetics, LLC

A Los Angeles based, prestige beauty brand offering a full range of color cosmetics

The Challenge

This prestige category, color cosmetics company was purchased in late 2015 by a private equity group that planned to aggressively grow the top line revenue by introducing new products and strategies. Ultimately those strategies failed, revenues dropped significantly, and the brand was damaged in the market. With no path to restore the brand’s image, the secured lender stepped in and began to market the company to a limited number of groups. When those efforts proved unsuccessful, Equity Partners was retained to sell the company.

The Process

Equity Partners ran an extensive 30-day marketing process and quickly solicited and negotiated a stalking horse bid. The lender agreed to provide the stalking horse with certain protections and EP went back to the market for a short period of time to solicit overbids. One group qualified, and an auction was held among them and the stalking horse bidder.

The Solution

Through competition the bid doubled, and the company was sold to the competing bidder. Closing occurred two weeks after the auction, employees were retained, and vendors were able to continue working with the company, which was now properly capitalized and strategically better suited for success after being acquired by an industry player.