Philosophy Skin-Care Business for sale at $1 Billion

Philosophy Skin-Care Business for sale at $1 Billion

Philosophy Skin-Care Business for sale at $1 Billion

Carlyle Group is seeking about $1 billion in a sale of skin-care company Philosophy Inc., three years after acquiring the maker of “Hope in a Jar” moisturizer for half that amount, said three people with knowledge of the plan.

The Washington-based firm hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to explore options and may consider an initial public offering if no buyer emerges, said two of the people, who declined to be identified because the sale is private. Carlyle bought Philosophy in March 2007 in a $475 million deal.

Private-equity firms are selling holdings to return profits to investors and convince them to commit money to new deals. Carlyle, which is also exploring the sale of defense and aviation company Arinc Inc. and pipeline company Kinder Morgan Inc., is the most acquisitive buyout firm this year with about $7 billion in announced transactions, three of them in the last two weeks.

The sale process for Philosophy is at an early stage, with calls placed recently to other private-equity firms and cosmetics rivals, the people said.

Christopher Ullman, a spokesman for Carlyle, declined to comment.

Takeovers of cosmetics companies have picked up after last year’s stock market rebound, with 45 deals worth $3.21 billion announced this year, up from 33 deals and $1.01 billion a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bare Escentuals

Estee Lauder Cos., the maker of Clinique and Bobbi Brown cosmetics, in May agreed to buy Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics Inc. to target women aged 18 to 35. That followed Shiseido Co.’s acquisition of Bare Escentuals Inc. for about $1.8 billion to expand outside a shrinking domestic market.

U.S. prestige beauty sales, which include makeup, skin care and fragrance products sold at department stores, dropped 6 percent to $8.19 billion in 2009 according to the NPD Group Inc., a market research firm based in Port Washington, New York.

Shiseido’s offer valued Bare Escentuals at 10.36 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Philosophy had Ebitda of $60 million last year, meaning it would be worth $622 million at the same multiple.

Philosophy’s adjusted Ebitda, which exclude management fees and some other costs, was $42 million in 2008. Bare Escentuals’ Ebitda declined 5.5 percent to $176.9 million in the fiscal year ended Jan. 3, 2010, from the prior period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Skin Peels

Two of the people with knowledge of the sales process said the company may fetch around $800 million.

Philosophy, which makes anti-aging moisturizers, one-minute skin peels, perfumes and lipsticks, was founded in 1996 by skin- care entrepreneur Cristina Carlino. She wanted to bridge the gap between skin-care products offered in doctor’s offices and retail stores. Philosophy retail shops, Sephora, J.C. Penney Co., Nordstrom Inc., Macy’s Inc. and QVC Inc. sell the skin-care brand.

Carlyle used $202.6 million from its fourth U.S. buyout fund to acquire Philosophy. The firm marked that equity investment at 1.25 times cost in the first quarter, according to the investor letter.

Carlyle Partners IV, which holds stakes in companies from Dunkin’ Brands Inc. to The Nielsen Company, has used 97 percent of its $7.8 billion as of the end of the first quarter, according to the letter.

Kinder Morgan

Kinder Morgan, the fund’s biggest investment, is going ahead with a plan to sell shares in an initial public offering, people with knowledge of the process said last week. The Houston-based company, which was taken private in a $22 billion leveraged buyout three years ago by Goldman and Carlyle, held interviews with banks seeking to underwrite the share sale, the people said.

Earlier this month, Carlyle sold medical-care provider Multiplan Inc. to BC Partners Ltd. and Silver Lake Partners, in a transaction valuing the company at $3.1 billion.

Carlyle Partners IV received $50.8 million in dividends from Philosophy during the first quarter of 2010. The company’s debt and equity has dropped to $466.1 million from $475 million at the time of the takeover.


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