LBO France picks up skin care company

Payot has been owned by Spanish perfume group Puig since 2001

LBO France, one of France’s oldest private equity firms, has acquired French cosmetics and skin care company Payot from Spain-based perfume group Puig, according to the firm.

LBO France has acquired an 80 percent stake in the company, alongside a new management team led by Italian cosmetics entrepreneur Andrea Surliuga, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the professional products industry.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is understood that the deal valued Payot at between €30 million and €40 million.

LBO France declined to comment further on the deal.

LBO France invested in Payot using its Hexagone III fund, a €154 million 2010-vintage small-cap vehicle which focuses on companies with enterprise values of less than €100 million. LBO France uses Hexagone funds to invest as the majority shareholder in “dynamic companies entering a new phase in their development”, according to the firm.

Payot, created in 1920 by dermatologist Nadia Payot and headquartered in Neuilly, France, became part of Spain-based fragrance group Puig in 2001. The company posted revenues of more than €25 million in 2013, 70 percent of which came from outside France, according to LBO France.

“Beyond strong financial backing, LBO France will support Payot’s management in leveraging the potential of their unique niche positioning on a global scale,” said Philippe Guérin, Hexagone director at LBO.

Andrea Surliuga, the former CEO and owner of Dibi Cosmetics, will become Payot’s new CEO. He said his team would be working with LBO France on “a number of key initiatives, notably in targeting and harmonising future product lines”.

This is the third acquisition completed by LBO France this year. In May, the firm acquired a 58 percent stake in in Italy-based audio business Fine Sounds and a 72.8 percent stake in Vaglio group, which operates limestone mines for the construction sector, using funds from Hexagone III. PEI reported at the time that following the investments the fund was more than 70 percent deployed, and that the firm could start fundraising for Hexagone IV before the end of the year.

Investment bank Michel Dyens & Co acted as financial advisor to the buyers, with Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier Avocats providing legal advice.