L'Oréal to acquire cosmetics brand Urban Decay

NEWTON, Mass. — L’Oréal has signed an agreement with Castanea Partners to acquire the fashion-forward, edgy beauty brand Urban Decay.

Terms of the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, were not disclosed. In the fiscal year ended in June 2012, Urban Decay, which is sold in such beauty retailers as Ulta and Sephora, recorded net sales of $130 million.

In the United States, Urban Decay will report to Carol Hamilton, president of L'Oréal Luxe USA.

Based in Newport Beach, Calif., Urban Decay, created in 1996 by makeup expert Wende Zomnir, has built a reputation based on the concept of "beauty with an edge" and values of femininity and irreverence. The line has star products in the eye category, such as the Naked Palette, and recently successfully launched its new foundation, the Naked Skin weightless liquid makeup. The market for makeup specialist brands represents 44% of the luxury makeup market in the United States.

"Urban Decay will beautifully complement L'Oréal Luxe's portfolio of iconic brands. It is the makeup specialist we needed to fully satisfy young women in search of playful colors and inspiration in selective distribution, at an accessible price point. It is totally additional to our existing propositions, and as such, it will contribute significantly to the growth of the division in the years to come," stated Nicolas Hieronimus, president of L'Oréal Luxe.

"Thanks to the acquisition of Urban Decay, the group will strengthen its position in two very dynamic distribution channels in the USA: assisted self-service and e-commerce. We look forward to this new and exciting opportunity,” added Frédéric Rozé, CEO of L'Oréal USA.

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