KDC/ONE Acquires Cosmetic Laboratories of America

Contract manufacturer Knowlton Development Corporation (KDC/ONE) has acquired Cosmetic Laboratories of America, from Visual Pak.

Cosmetic Laboratories of America (CLA) is a formulator and manufacturer of personal care and beauty products. The company’s customers range from Fortune 500 companies to other health, beauty, cosmetic and fragrance brands, as well as specialized health and beauty aid companies. Founded in 1971 and led by General Manager Oscar Saldarriaga, CLA has more than 350 employees and operates from manufacturing and warehousing facilities in Chatsworth, California.

CLA was founded in 1971 and went public in 1987. In 1996, the business was acquired by Alberto Culver which in turn was acquired by Unilever in 2010. In 2012, CLA was acquired by Visual Pak, a provider of custom and contract packaging services including liquid blending and filling, secondary packaging, and thermoforming to the home and personal care, consumer goods, household products, and secondary food packaging sectors. Visual Pak, with more than 500 employees, is based near Chicago in Waukegan, Illinois.

Cornell Capital and HarbourVest acquired KDC/ONE from Novacap in December 2018. At that time, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Investissement Québec (IQ) rolled over significant stakes of their equity as part of the transaction. Both CDPQ and IQ co-invested with Novacap on its buy of KDC/ONE in October 2014.

KDC/ONE is a contract manufacturer of regulated and non-regulated personal care products including lotions, soaps, fragrances, cosmetics and deodorants. The company also manufactures home care products (disinfectants, cleaners, and detergents), industrial products (floor waxes, protectants, cleaners, degreasers, and disinfectants), and auto care products (car waxes, protectants, cleaners, and air care). KDC/ONE, with more than 7,000 employees, is headquartered near Quebec City in Longueuil, Canada and operates 18 facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.

Earlier this year, KDC/ONE completed its merger with HCT Group, a California-based contract manufacturer of cosmetics products; and in February, KDC/ONE acquired Zobele Group, an Italy-based manufacturer of home and air care products, from Doughty Hanson, a London-based private equity firm.

“CLA has been a premier early formulation developer for decades, as evidenced by the number of large, flagship beauty products the company has developed and launched over the years,” said Nicholas Whitley, chief executive officer of KDC/ONE. “With an exceptional leadership team, a reputation for speed-to-market and best-in-class assets producing prestige skin and hair care products, CLA is the ideal partner for KDC/ONE as we look to invest in and solidify our West Coast footprint, further enhance our creative, cutting-edge offerings and scale our end-to-end capabilities in the region.”

Cornell Capital was founded in 2013 by Henry Cornell, the former vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division, to invest in companies in the consumer, energy, financial and industrial sectors. In June 2018, the firm held a final closing of its inaugural private equity fund, Cornell Capital Partners LP, with total capital commitments of $1.3 billion.  The firm has offices in New York and Hong Kong.

HarbourVest invests in venture capital, buyout, mezzanine debt, credit, and real estate through primary fund investments, secondary purchases, and direct co-investments.  The firm has more than 500 employees, including 125 investment professionals, located in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. HarbourVest is headquartered in Boston with additional offices in Beijing, Bogotá, Hong Kong, London, Seoul, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and Toronto.

© 2020 Private Equity Professional | March 18, 2020

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