News of Coty Inc. announcing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with global investment firm, KKR has been doing the rounds. Under the terms of the MOU, Coty will carve out ‘Wella’ and its portfolio of professional brands into a standalone company in which KKR will acquire a 60 percent stake and Coty will retain the remaining 40 percent interest.
KKR is a pioneer of the global private equity model, with over 43 years of experience in investment. The firm has a long track record of investing in branded consumer businesses, including the beauty sector. Its portfolio includes 109 companies with over $157 billion in annual revenues and employing over 637,500 people.
The investment comes at an opportune time and a jubilant Manish says, “This announcement represents a great milestone for our Wella India organisation. We are confident this partnership will bring new opportunities. In the meantime, we remain fully committed to supporting our customers and our industry as it bounces back from the COVID-19 crisis.”
On the opportunities that this investment will open for Wella India, he reveals, “India will continue to be a strategic market for the company. There are many opportunities in the space of value tier professional hair segment, hair appliances and retail hair as we move forward.”
Sylvie Moreau, President of Coty Professional Beauty, commented, “In this year where Wella Professionals is turning 140 years old, I am proud and inspired at the prospect of Wella operating again as a standalone Company. Partnering with KKR will propel our people and our brands into a bright and successful new future.”
Moving ahead of the setback created by Covid-19, says Manish, “We are working very closely with our customers in educating them on how to operate in the post-Corona world. We continue to leverage global learnings and set up connects with salons outside India for customers to learn from. We have started our Safety Led Business plan which captures an 8-step strategy to plan bounce back. The same is being deployed to many thousand salons and stylists.”
On the future, Manish shares, “COVID-19 certainly brings short-term challenges for all professional beauty players however, we are confident that all of us will bounce back soon. The approach will continue to be led by education, which will now include more safety protocols, superior and premium offerings to hairdressers and consumers. With a premium portfolio like Wella Professionals Elements, Fusion, Oil Reflections, Nutricurls, System Professional and Sebastian Professional, and so on, we provide a great opportunity to salons to uptier their consumer along with providing superior performance to clients.”