February 1, 2012

Castanea Partners Announces Investment in Drybar

Castanea Partners announced today that it has purchased a minority interest in Drybar, a leading blow-dry bar retailer concept.

Founded in 2008 by Alli Webb, a long-time professional stylist, the company established itself as the market leader in the emerging “blow-dry only” segment of the beauty industry. Drybar is known for its stylish, high quality and affordable blow-dry services and was named one of the top “100 Brilliant Ideas of 2010” by Entrepreneur Magazine. The company operates locations across the country and has become a regular stop for many celebrities.

“This is an exciting investment opportunity for us,” said Steve Berg, Partner at Castanea. “The team at Drybar has done an incredible job of capitalizing on a void in the marketplace and filling it with a service that truly delights their customers.”

“After a long and comprehensive search it became clear that Castanea was the ideal partner for us,” said Michael Landau, Drybar’s Chief Executive Officer. “Castanea provides unique operational, consumer-focused experience that will help us achieve the next level of growth.”

As part of the transaction, Janet Gurwitch will be joining Drybar’s board. Janet Gurwitch is the founder and former CEO of Laura Mercier Cosmetics, a leading global beauty brand. Prior to that she was the Executive Vice President of Neiman Marcus, and recently joined Castanea as an Operating Partner.

“Drybar has created an incredibly cool, innovative experience for the consumer,” said Gurwitch, “I am excited to be joining this impressive team to further develop the Drybar brand.”

The company plans to use proceeds from the investment to continue their rapid national expansion efforts and further invest in talent and infrastructure. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Castanea

Castanea is a private equity firm that works in partnership with founders and management teams of innovative passion brands to grow their businesses through a combination of capital investment and operating expertise. We are focused on select consumer verticals including beauty, food and beverage, multi-unit services, and enthusiast lifestyle. We typically invest between $15 to $150 million of equity in minority or majority transactions. Our team of talented operating executives offers critical expertise in key verticals and functional areas, and provides our partner companies with strategic and tactical support. Castanea has more than $1 billion in assets under management and is currently investing from a $735 million fourth fund. For more information about Castanea Partners read our story.

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