When Beekman 1802 announced its majority acquisition by Eurazeo Brands in early December, it put the European investment group back in the beauty industry spotlight.
Eurazeo Brands is also the current owner of Nest Fragrances and the fashion brands Bandier and Herschel Supply Co. In 2017 Eurazeo, an investment company based in Europe, launched a consumer brand vehicle called Eurazeo Brands, designed to invest in American and European brands with “global potential” according to a press release.
Eurazeo invested $ 62 million out of a total of $ 92 million to acquire a majority stake in Beekman 1802, alongside co-investors Cohesive Capital Partners and Cherng Family Trust. As part of Eurazeo’s investment in Beekman 1802, Marc Rey, former CEO of Shiseido Americas, joins the company’s board of directors as chairman. Adrianne Shapira, managing director of Eurazeo Brands’ North American effort, also joins the board.
âWe see a lot of brands coming out, but reaching significant scale is a whole different ball game. The consumer has a lot of choice, so connecting and retaining is a challenge. We were very impressed with Beekman, where there is a real audience and a real community, âsaid Shapira.
Glossy spoke to Shapira about what drove the acquisition of Beekman 1802, what she seeks as an investor, and the long-term effects she expects the pandemic to have on beauty. The conversation has been slightly edited and condensed for clarity.
What led to the acquisition of Beekman 1802?
âWe have reviewed many skin care and hair care brands. We have a high bar, and for some reason we haven’t pulled the trigger on these other brands. During the Covid, people either have a mask on their face or on their hair. Clearly, [beauty] was a growing category. Finding a brand, an investment and a team that you click with is paramount. Another big part of this is getting Marc Ray’s interest, attention, and time. That he is joining us as Chairman of the Board tells us a lot [about] the little brand that could.
What are the qualities of the Beekman 1802 that make it a good investment?
âWe have a lot of filters because we are looking at opportunities in all categories. We start [by looking at] the market. [We ask ourselves,] âIs this a growing sector where the consumer is focusing his attention? Beauty is where we’ve seen a lot of attention that just keeps growing. After that we look at the mark. Is this a winner or a donor of shares? We saw a lot of leads for Beekman. He has effective products, with goat’s milk, and he has the science behind it [based on] the microbiota. But it was also [their branding] regarding kindness and “neighbors”. As people seek to partner with brands that have souls, Beekman has oozed content. They were spectacular, with firmness and authenticity. On the financial plan, [we] studied the [profit and loss] cash flow balance sheet, then growth levers, and we saw a lot of leads through the categories, [sales] canals and geography. Finally, it was about the team – finding a team that [encompasses all of] this and is also open to learning and partnering with [our] team.”
What are you currently interested in as an investor?
“The Covid has only accelerated [existing trends]. Self-care is here to stay. People want to care about themselves in a much more meaningful way. People care about the way they represent themselves. There is also more education on the ingredients and what is in the products. It started with what’s in your body and what’s on your body, and now it’s what’s around your body. Clean beauty is a table stakes, and I think this trend will only continue. But now it’s also about what the brand stands for. The products must work, but also: what do these people represent? You’ve got a proliferation of brands and there’s plenty to choose from, so it’s not an âeitherâ situation, but an âandâ. [People are saying,] âI want a product that works for me, but I also want products that have a purpose. “
Do you think Covid-19 has long term implications for beauty?
âI think consumers want to connect and want content that resonates with them. We thirst for community. We were cautiously optimistic, leaving our homes, returning to work and school, and reuniting. And now we are back. You have to be very selective in your choices, in terms of where and how you connect with people. These standards will only skyrocket thanks to Covid-19. “