Cosmetic Contract Manufacturer Adds On

Cosmetic Contract Manufacturer Adds On

Contract cosmetic maker Knowlton Development Corporation (KDC) has agreed to acquire the manufacturing business and associated assets of Swallowfield for £35 million (C$57 million). Not included in this transaction is Swallowfield’s owned brands division which remains with the company.

KDC was acquired by Cornell Capital and HarbourVest Partners in December 2018 from Novacap. Other investors in this transaction included Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Investissement Québec.

Swallowfield’s manufacturing business focuses on the contract development, formulation, and supply of personal care products including aerosols, hot pour products, cosmetic pencils, and fragrances.

The business is headquartered in Wellington, UK and has approximately 560 employees and operates across three facilities in Europe (two in the UK and one in Czech Republic), as well as a sourcing office in China and sales offices in Paris and New York (

KDC 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, founded in 2002, has approximately 5,000 employees and is headquartered near Montreal in Longueuil, Québec with 13 operating facilities located throughout North America and France (

In July 2019, KDC acquired ALKOS Group, a contract maker of personal care products including makeup, skincare, cosmetic pencils, perfumed soaps, antiperspirants and deodorants. The company has more than 400 employees and is headquartered in Paris (

“Following KDC’s successful acquisition of Paris-based ALKOS Group earlier this month, we are confident that Swallowfield’s operations will further enhance our strategic presence in the region and solidify our leadership in beauty, health and personal care around the world,” said Nicholas Whitley, president and CEO of KDC. “The company’s international capabilities make it a natural complement to KDC, and its strong reputation for quality, service and innovation matches KDC’s own dedication to high-touch innovation, operational excellence and speed to market. Together with Cornell Capital, we look forward to working closely with Swallowfield’s team to capitalize on the significant cross-selling opportunities, and further diversify KDC’s customer base and channels.”

“We are excited to join the KDC team, as we bring together the unmatched product and technology portfolios and world-class manufacturing capabilities of these two companies,” said Matthew Gazzard, the chief financial officer of Swallowfield, who will become the president of KDC Swallowfield Ltd when the transaction closes next month.

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.  In over 30 years of investing in private equity, the firm has committed more than $36 billion to newly-formed funds, completed over $21 billion in secondary purchases, and invested $10 billion directly in operating companies. HarbourVest is headquartered in Boston with additional offices in Beijing, Bogotá, Hong Kong, London, Seoul, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and Toronto (

KPMG is the financial advisor to KDC and Baylor Klein is acting as financial advisor to Swallowfield.

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | July 15, 2019

To search in site, type your keyword and hit enter