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Shiseido acquires Drunk Elephant for US$845 million

Japanese skincare giant Shiseido is set to acquire clean skincare brand Drunk Elephant for US$845 million

Founded by Tiffany Masterson in 2012, Drunk Elephant taps into the millennial market with its Instagrammable packaging and biocompatible offering.

Shiseido will use its global platform to grow the brand in the US, Europe and other Asian countries.

“We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of Drunk Elephant, one of the fastest-growing prestige skincare brands in history,” Masahiko Uotani, president and CEO of Shiseido, said.

This transaction is squarely aligned with Shiseido’s VISION 2020 goal of accelerating growth and creating value through strategic partnerships. Drunk Elephant’s approach strongly resonates with its highly engaged and loyal consumers, who value the integrity and effectiveness of Drunk Elephant’s formulations combined with a fun, curious approach.”

Marc Rey, CEO, Shiseido Americas and chief growth officer of Shiseido, called the partnership “incredibly exciting” and said the brand is changing the way people experience beauty with products that are “effective and clean compatible”.

“Drunk Elephant is built on a strong brand foundation and a unique philosophy that fits perfectly with Shiseido’s values and skincare heritage. Our innovative and people-first cultures are well aligned, and we share an unwavering commitment to our consumers. I also believe the brand will contribute to the business performance of Shiseido Americas,” Rey said.

Michelle Grujin, retail lead at Accenture Australia and New Zealand told Internet Retailing that demand for natural and healthier products is consistent with what we have seen in Australian beauty for decades: “clean and simple products made by companies with authentic and purpose-led values.”

“It is interesting to see the shift from companies looking to get truly under the skin of the consumer. What will be even more interesting is how these brands can deliver products and services that are relevant to the consumer, but at scale,” Grujin said.

With fierce competition in the market, Grujin said large beauty players are looking for the ‘latest and greatest’ to drive innovation, competitiveness and growth.

“Acquiring new capabilities and the need for next generation technologies create a personalised collaboration with each consumer, allowing them to participate and experience products, services and brands in new ways,” she said.

Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson will remain as the company’s chief creative officer and will also become president of the business, reporting directly to Rey.

This story first appeared in Inside FMCG.

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