Englewood Cliffs-based Unilever USA completed the previously announced sale of its beauty and personal care brand Suave to Yellow Wood Partners LLC, a private equity firm.
Following the acquisition, Yellow Wood announced plans to create a new standalone business in New Jersey to support the Suave brand under the leadership of Daniel Alter, a 20-year Unilever veteran with global strategy and operations expertise.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed in the May 9 press release.
A representative for Yellow Wood, which is headquartered in Boston, told NJBIZ that a location for the new Suave Brands Co. has not yet been decided.
Yellow Wood invests exclusively in the consumer industry in the middle market and seeks to acquire branded consumer products that sell into a variety of channels, such as drug, food, specialty, value, club and e-commerce. Its portfolio includes footcare brand Dr. Scholl’s, self-tanning brand Isle of Paradise, skincare brand Freeman Beauty and beauty brand Real Techniques.
In a statement, Dana Schmaltz, partner at Yellow Wood, said, “The widely known Suave brand has a long heritage and strong consumer loyalty, selling over 250 million units annually and is present in 1 out of every 2 homes in America. Our firm’s extensive experience working with multi-national branded consumer packaged goods companies, such as Unilever, Bayer and Reckitt, will enable us to successfully transition Suave to an independent company within the Yellow Wood portfolio and accelerate its growth.
“Our deep expertise in the consumer goods sector and with large mass, grocery, drug, and ecommerce retailers will help us enhance Suave’s closeness with consumers and product innovation. In addition to carving out Suave and establishing an independent infrastructure, we are building the Suave Brands Co. into a beauty & personal care platform focused on democratizing trends, making them accessible to a broader consumer base,” Schmaltz added.
Alter, whose most recent role with Unilever was chief strategy and digital transformation officer in personal care, said, “I am excited to partner with Yellow Wood to lead the Suave Brands Co. and set the brand up for its next stage of growth. Our shared vision is to build the Suave Brands Co. into an industry leading beauty & personal care platform, delivering high quality products at an accessible price for consumers across North America.”
Tad Yanagi, a partner at Yellow Wood, said, “We are excited about Suave’s ability to benefit from the growing consumer demand for value-based brands. There is great opportunity to do more with Suave’s leading brand awareness and consumer loyalty and to lead that effort we are pleased to welcome Daniel Alter as CEO. His and Yellow Wood’s deep branded CPG experiences will help Suave execute on new growth levers to build the business and identify new personal care brand acquisitions.”
Outside of the U.S. and Canada, Suave will continue to be owned and operated by Unilever.