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Yellow Wood Partners Acquires Unilever’s Suave Brand

Suave Unilever

Yellow Wood Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, has signed an agreement with Unilever to acquire its beauty and personal care brand, Suave, in North America. The transaction is anticipated to be completed in the second quarter of 2023.

“We are excited to have created a strong working relationship with Unilever in this transaction. Yellow Wood’s intense focus on investing in and operating consumer brands led us to purchase the iconic Suave brand in North America from Unilever. Suave is ubiquitously recognized for its long history of providing accessible high-quality beauty products to American consumers dating to the 1930s and we are excited to add it to our portfolio of investments,” said Dana Schmaltz, partner of Yellow Wood Partners.

“We especially want to thank Unilever for their collaboration as we move forward to completing this carveout. We believe our extensive experience with divestitures of large and small brands from multi-national consumer branded companies such as Bayer and Reckitt will help us successfully transition and grow Suave as a focused brand in the Yellow Wood portfolio.”

The Suave brand sells products for women, men and kids in mass retailers and e-commerce platforms. The brand’s products include hair and body products including shampoos, conditioners, treatments and serums, styling products, body wash, antiperspirants, deodorants and skin care.

“We look forward to bringing a significantly increased level of brand investment as well as operational focus to leverage Suave’s high brand recognition and value proposition to major retailers and consumers in North America. Working with Unilever allowed us to formulate a transition plan to build a more focused stand-alone company as we have done in the past with other carve outs from multinational CPG companies,” said Tad Yanagi, partner of Yellow Wood Partners.

“Our Consumer Operating DNA strategy allowed us to develop a sourcing and distribution network which we believe will deliver exceptional customer experience. We look forward to working with our retail and ecommerce partners in an effort to drive the growth of the brand through continued strong product innovation and build on the success of the Suave brand that consumers have loved for more than 85 years.”

Yellow Wood’s family of consumer brands include global footcare brand Dr. Scholl’s and Scholl International, Beacon Wellness Brands, Real Techniques, EcoTools, Isle of Paradise, Tanologist, TanLuxe; Freeman Beauty and Byoma.

Houlihan Lokey acted as financial advisor to Yellow Wood on the transaction. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP provided legal counsel to Yellow Wood.

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