November 26, 2012

Castanea Partners Signs Agreement to Sell Cosmetics Brand Urban Decay to L’Oréal

Castanea Partners today announced the signing of an agreement to sell Urban Decay to L’Oréal.

Urban Decay, created in 1996 by make-up expert Wende Zomnir, has built a loyal consumer following by offering high quality products emphasizing femininity and irreverence. Known for its innovative products, creative packaging and bold colors, the brand always stays true to its “Beauty with an Edge” mantra. The company markets its products through domestic and international specialty beauty retailers, better department stores, and its website.

Urban Decay is the fastest growing company in prestige cosmetics, ranking among the top selling brands in each of its North American retailers, while rapidly expanding its presence in Europe and Asia. Under the leadership of CEO Tim Warner, the company earned wholesale revenue of $140 million over the past 12 months, more than three times its revenue at the time of Castanea’s investment in 2009.

“Castanea has been a great partner for Urban Decay as they truly understand who we are and appreciate what it takes to grow a successful brand, said Wende Zomnir, Chief Creative Officer. “Castanea was incredibly supportive of our team and encouraged us to invest in our vision of becoming one of the top cosmetics brands in the world,” added CEO Tim Warner.

“The entire Urban Decay team has done a great job of rapidly growing the company while remaining true to their brand and its values. We very much enjoyed working with the Urban Decay team and are confident they will thrive with their new partners.” said Steve Berg, Partner from Castanea.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval, which is expected by the end of the year.

Castanea Partners was advised by Deutsche Bank, Piper Jaffray, Cooley LLP, and Deloitte. L’Oréal was advised by Lazard and Weil, Gotshal and Manges, LLP.



L’Oréal, the world’s leading beauty company, has catered to all forms of beauty in the world for over 100 years and has built an unrivalled portfolio of 27 international, diverse and complementary brands. With sales amounting to 20.3 billion euros in 2011, L’Oréal employs 68,900 people worldwide. Regarding sustainable development, Corporate Knights, a Global Responsible Investment Network, has selected L’Oréal for its 2012 ranking of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. L’Oréal has received this distinction for the 5th consecutive year.

L’Oréal USA

L’Oréal USA, headquartered in New York City, with 2011 sales of over $5.1 billion and 9,800 employees, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of L’Oréal SA, the world’s leading beauty company. In addition to corporate headquarters in New York, L’Oréal USA has Research and Innovation, Manufacturing and Distribution facilities across seven states, including New Jersey, Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas. L’Oréal’s impressive portfolio of brands includes Lancôme, Giorgio Armani Beauty, Yves Saint Laurent Beauté, Viktor & Rolf, Diesel, Cacharel, Clarisonic, L’Oréal Paris, Garnier, Vichy, La Roche-Posay, L’Oréal Professionnel, Kérastase and Shu Uemura Art of Hair, Maybelline New York, Soft-Sheen. Carson, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Ralph Lauren Fragrances, essie Cosmetics, Redken 5th Avenue NYC, Matrix, Mizani, Pureology, SkinCeuticals and Dermablend. For more information visit

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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