L'Oréal buys vegan beauty brand Urban Decay
French beauty giant L'Oréal has acquired US brand Urban Decay in a deal estimated at $300 million to $400 million.
Urban Decay, the '100% vegan' beauty brand based in Los Angeles and famous for refusing to test on animals, has been purchased by L'Oréal in a deal which will see the French cosmetics group take full control (once approved by regulators).
Both parties refuse to comment on the money involved, but industry experts estimate that L'Oréal has paid around $350 million for Urban Decay.
L'Oreal Luxe President Nicolas Hieronimus told the Wall Street Journal that the acquisition "will beautifully complement" the group's existing brand portfolio.
Urban Decay carries some clout, with reported sales of $130 million for the 2011-2012 financial year. Tim Warner, the California company's general manager, was enthusiastic about the deal: "L'Oréal's strong innovation capabilities and presence in every channel of distribution will enable Urban Decay to reach its full potential in the marketplace," he told WWD.
Urban Decay was founded in Los Angeles in 1996 and was purchased by the LVMH luxury group in 2000 before being sold on two years later to the Falic Group (owners of the Perry Ellis fragrance lines).
In 2009, Urban Decay was acquired by private equity fund Castanea Partners.
L'Oréal is the world's largest cosmetics group, with a global collection of brands including Maybelline, Clarisonic and Lancôme. Annual sales exceed $26 billion.
As of 2012, L'Oréal continues to use animal testing in some products and markets, although in March this year the Daily Mail reported that the company had donated $1.2 million to help abolish the practice.