Yellow Wood Acquires Paris Presents

Yellow Wood Partners is buying Paris Presents, a cosmetics and bath brand.
Paris Presents, founded in 1947, makes the brands Real Techniques, EcoTools and Body Benefits by Body Image, which are sold in drugstores, specialty retailers and online. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and it is expected to close in September. Industry sources said Paris Presents has significantly more than $200 million in sales.
According to Dana Schmaltz, founder of Yellow Wood, the firm had its eye on Paris Presents since private equity firm EagleTree Capital bought it. "We watched — from afar, unfortunately — at how successful Patrick O'Brien and the team have been with the Real Techniques brand, as well as with the Eco Tools brand," Schmaltz said, adding that Real Techniques has roughly tripled in size over the past four years.
Yellow Wood was interested not just because of the growth, he said, noting Ulta Beauty has been a key driver, but because the business sells "premium products at mass market pricing" and YouTube reviews frequently compare Real Techniques sponges, which cost about $5.99, to Beautyblender sponges, which cost $20.
"The company has a good track record of developing products that consumers want," Schmaltz said.
Paris Presents was sold by private equity firm EagleTree Capital, the firm started by the late ceo of investment bank Lazard Freres, Bruce Wasserstein. The firm was formerly called Wasserstein Partners, and invested in Paris Presents in early 2015.
Paris Presents will be part of the same company as Freeman Beauty, which Yellow Wood bought in August 2017. Freeman is best known for its masks, but also makes hair-care, foot-care and bath and body products, also sold in the mass channel.
In addition to distribution similarities, both companies (which will be operated separately, Schmaltz said) have similar customers. 
"The customer overlap is strong," he said. "They're selling to Millennial, Gen Z and multicultural consumers … that gets us excited from a marketing perspective about being able to work those brands together from a point of sale perspective in the store."
Yellow Wood, which built PDC Brands through a series of acquisitions before selling it to CVC Capital Partners for $1.4 billion, has a similar strategy for its newer beauty business. 
The firm will continue to look for other companies to buy that fit in its consumer, operational and selling strategies, Schmaltz said.
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