Paula’s Choice Said Exploring M&A Options

Clinical skin care brand Paula’s Choice is said to be looking at deal options.

Industry sources said the brand has hired three banks — Financo Raymond James as lead adviser, Piper Sandler and Morgan Stanley — as it explores potential merger and acquisition options.

Paula’s Choice has grown significantly since private equity firm TA Associates invested in 2016, when the brand had an estimated $70 million in net sales. For 2020, industry sources said Paula’s Choice did about $220 million in net sales, and that the company expects to do more than $300 million in net sales for 2021. One source said the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are more than $110 million.

Paula’s Choice declined to comment.

Skin care companies remain in demand among beauty buyers, and have historically scored high price tags. Deciem, parent company of The Ordinary, landed a $2.2 billion valuation when it agreed to sell to the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. earlier this year, and Beautycounter landed a $1 billion valuation when it inked a deal to sell a majority position to the Carlyle Group.

Paula’s Choice was founded in 1995 by Paula Begoun, an early advocate for transparency in beauty product formulations and education around personal care ingredients. The brand primarily focuses on direct-to-consumer sales via its web site. The business also recently launched at Sephora with 27 products and also sells on Paula’s Choice has gained popularity with younger consumers in recent years, and has garnered a following on Reddit and TikTok.

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The brand has a significant U.S. operation, but more than 50 percent of sales come from international markets, including Europe and Asia, chief marketing officer Erika Kussmann said in a February interview.

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