Though the exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, WWD has reported that skin care company Tatcha has been acquired by Unilever in a deal that "approaches $500 million".
The luxury skin-care brand founded in San Fransisco by Vicky Tsai 10 years ago is reportedly set to bring in $100 million in net sales for 2019. Known for its high-end creams, mists, cleansers and exfoliators that draw on Japanese tradition and ingredients, the brand has seen rapid growth and impressive sales over the past several years.
Tatcha joins brands such as Murad, Dermalogica, REN Clean Skincare, Kate Somerville, Living Proof and Hourglass as part of Unilever's prestige portfolio. While acquisitions of labels that attract younger, trendier shoppers have accounted for a large portion of the company's expansion within the beauty sector, it has also invested in a spate of early-stage independent skin care and cosmetics companies including True Botanicals, Dr. Roebuck's, Nutrafol and Beauty Bakerie through its venture capital and private equity arm, Unilever Ventures.
If the numbers being reported are accurate, the Tatcha deal marks one of the largest acquisitions Unilever has seen in the beauty space since it acquired Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion in 2016.
As well as being a viable business opportunity, Unilever saw the acquisition as a way to support a women-founded business. In an interview with WWD Vasiliki Petrou, the executive vice president of Unilever Prestige said: "One of my missions in life is to support female entrepreneurs, and I truly believe in female power and I truly believe the future is female, so even one more reason why I wanted to partner with Vicky and Tatcha. It's not easy for female entrepreneurs, so I want to do my part to make the world a better place for women to work, excel and succeed."