Global investment firm Carlyle acquires majority stake in VLCC

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Carlyle India Advisors Managing Director and Co-Head Amit Jain said the firm plans to help VLCC accelerate growth after acquisition

New Delhi: Global investment firm Carlyle on Tuesday said it has acquired a majority stake in homegrown skincare and beauty firm VLCC for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 1989 by Vandana and Mukesh Luthra, VLCC operates in the skincare, beauty and wellness market with an integrated offering of branded skincare products and specialised beauty and wellness services.

Though the “terms of the transaction were not disclosed”, a joint statement said VLCC’s founders “will continue to hold a significant stake in the company”. However, reports pegged the deal to be valued at around USD 300 million (Rs 2,453 crore).

“The investment underscores Carlyle’s overall conviction in India’s long-term economic and domestic consumption growth, which the team believes is characterised by product premiumisation and a shift in preference amongst the rising middle-class towards established brands,” said a joint statement.

Carlyle India Advisors Managing Director and Co-Head Amit Jain said the firm plans to help VLCC accelerate growth through investments in brand building, product expansion, scaling its pan-India digital and e-commerce distribution channels.

“We look forward to working with VLCC’s founders as we seek to strengthen the management team and draw on Carlyle’s deep global consumer experience and network of senior advisors,” he said.

VLCC founder Vandana Luthra said: “Carlyle’s extensive global consumer sector experience, business partnership mindset, local market knowledge and high-calibre team make them the right partner to take the business to the next level”.

VLCC will appoint Gurveen Singh and J Suresh as Independent Directors to the Board. Singh retired as the Chief Human Resources Officer at Reckitt Benckiser and has over 40 years of experience in talent development and HR solutions.

While Suresh has recently retired as the Managing Director and CEO of Arvind Fashions. He had started his career with Hindustan Unilever, and brings to the team over four decades of experience in the consumer and retail sector, the statement said.

“Carlyle believes their combined experience and sector expertise helps strengthen the Board and will help provide strategic guidance for VLCC’s next phase of anticipated growth,” it said.

In the last three decades, VLCC has established itself as a well-known brand in India in skincare and beauty products and expanding its network of clinics in tier-one and tier-two Indian cities. It is currently a market leader in India for facial kits.

Carlyle has invested more than USD 5.5 billion of equity in over 40 transactions in India as of September 30, 2022.

Its global private equity funds have well-established experience investing in the consumer and retail sectors, as well as consumer-oriented businesses, including investments in Varmora, Grand Foods China (McDonald’s China franchise), Golden Goose, A Twosome Place, TOKIWA Corporation, SBI Card, and Delhivery, among others.

Globally, Carlyle has invested approximately USD 25 billion of equity in over 135 deals in the consumer, media and retail sectors, as of September 30, 2022.

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