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Procter & Gamble Co. expands beauty brands with acquisition

Bevel and FORM Beauty join the P&G fold
Posted at 12:59 PM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 13:50:14-05

CINCINNATI - Procter & Gamble Co. is acquiring a California startup whose Bevel and FORM Beauty brands will expand the company's offerings for people of color.

Walker & Company will relocate to Atlanta, where founder Tristan Walker will continue to run the company as separate and wholly-owned subsidiary of P&G, according to a press release.

“We have tremendous respect for the work Tristan Walker has accomplished,” said Alex Keith, CEO of P&G Beauty. “The combination of Walker & Company’s deep consumer understanding, authentic connection to its community and unique, highly customized products and P&G’s highly-skilled and experienced people, resources, technical capabilities and global scale will allow us to further improve the lives of the world’s multicultural consumers.”

It's the second acquisition of a niche beauty company for P&G this year, which has been criticized for being outflanked by smaller competitors in its beauty and grooming segments. In July, it acquired First Aid Beauty for an estimated $250 million, adding several small brands that target dry skin, acne and other problems.

Bernstein Research analyst Ali Dibadj praised P&G's decision to let Walker & Company operate separately from the company, saying it could be a decision influenced by activist board member Nelson Peltz.

"It's definitely the right thing to do," Dibadj said. "P&G has an organ rejection issue with most acquisitions, especially small ones. Peltz certainly argued for this, but it has become best practice among CPG companies to leave what they buy alone."

Bevel is a line of grooming products that reduce razor bumps and skin irritation. FORM offers shampoo, conditioners and styling gels for women with wavy, thick and curly hair.

Recode estimated the Walker & Company purchase price at $20 million to $40 million while Fast Company quoted a P&G brand director on the rapid development of Walker's brands.

“His agility is super-fast," said Lela Coffey, brand director for multicultural marketing at P&G. "The amount of products he’s been able to bring to market, we need to learn something about that speed.”