Chicago private equity firm Core Industrial Partners has closed a majority investment in Arizona Natural Resources.
The move is the first step in a broader plan to build up the next major North American beauty manufacturer, said John May, managing partner at Core. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
ANR, headquartered in Phoenix and founded in 1972, operates a midsize beauty manufacturing business that makes custom product formulations, specializing in skin care and hair care. “The focus of ANR has been around supporting the emerging and midtier brands and helping them accelerate their growth,” said May in an interview.
For Core, the deal is its first in beauty. But May said it won’t be the last, and that the firm has plans to build out a major North American beauty manufacturing platform through organic growth and future acquisitions.
“We’ve been studying the health and beauty industry for the better part of a year, we’ve been looking for the right entry point to make,” May said.
He said one thing Core liked about ANR was the company’s commitment to customer service. “As we talked to their customers, we kept hearing comments like, ‘they’re exceptional at customer service and quality and delivery,’ [and] ‘they’re very reliable.’ They help these emerging brands to really scale and they’re able to be really flexible,” May said.
Core plans to invest in ANR’s research and development capabilities, continue to expand production capabilities and expand the service offerings, both organically and through acquisition, according to May. ANR’s previous owner and president, George Dembow, will remain involved in the business.
“We intend to scale this platform with additional acquisitions. We actually have another business under a letter of intent as we speak. We want to make this a nationwide, personal-care products contract manufacturing business,” May said.
Core, which invests in manufacturing companies, is one of several private equity firms looking to build up contract beauty manufacturing businesses. Earlier this week, Voyant, which is backed by Wind Point Partners, acquired the personal-care manufacturing operation of Kik Custom Products. There’s also KCD-One, backed by Cornell Capital and other investors, which has made a slew of acquisitions over the past few years, and Bain, which invested in Maesa with plans to build up the business.
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