After maintaining full ownership of Kylie Cosmetics since its launch in 2015, Kylie Jenner has officially sold a majority stake in her business to beauty conglomerate Coty for $600 million.
Jenner, 22, sold a 51 percent stake in Kylie Cosmetics to Coty, which owns other beauty brands including Covergirl, OPI, Rimmel, GHD and Clairol. The sale valued the company at almost $1.2 billion, Business of Fashion reports. While Jenner did sell a majority stake in Kylie Cosmetics, according to an official release, she and her team will continue to lead all creative efforts of product development and communication initiatives.
“I’m excited to partner with Coty to continue to reach even more fans of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin around the world. I look forward to continuing the creativity and ingenuity for each collection that consumers have come to expect and engaging with my fans across social media,” Jenner said in a release.
She added: “This partnership will allow me and my team to stay focused on the creation and development of each product while building the brand into an international beauty powerhouse.”
Coty plans to capitalize on the strengths of Jenner’s digitally-native company and utilize its “high potential” to continue growing it into a global beauty powerhouse. In addition to expanding Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin’s product offerings, Coty also sees potential in the fragrance category.
Coty’s Chief Creative Officer, Pierre Laubiues, said: “We are pleased to welcome Kylie into our organization and family. Combining Kylie’s creative vision and unparalleled consumer interest with Coty’s expertise and leadership in prestige beauty products is an exciting next step in our transformation and will leverage our core strengths around fragrances, cosmetics and skincare, allowing Kylie’s brands to reach their full potential.”
Through the partnership with Jenner, Coty sees much potential in expanding distribution of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin into more retailers, both in the U.S. and internationally. Coty will leverage its global knowledge in R&D, manufacturing, distribution, commercial and go-to-market expertise, according to the release.
“We don’t see any weaknesses. We see strength everywhere. We see strength in cosmetics. We see strength in skincare both digitally and in the launch in Ulta,” says Coty’s Chief Financial Officer Pierre-André Terisse in a conference call with investors.
According to Coty, Jenner’s impressive launch of Kylie Skin (the brand is on track to bring in $25 million sales in calendar year 2019) indicates that the success will not slow down. “The skincare is pretty early days but there is more than 50 percent repeat purchase among skincare customers,” Terisse says when asked if Jenner’s brands are just a “fad” during the conference call. “We’ve not seen any sign that this will not be a sustainable beauty brand. The fact that she has been able to move from cosmetics to skincare and get such success is already proof that there is something.”
Thanks to her booming beauty business, Jenner officially was named the world’s youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes in March 2019.
Driven by Kylie Cosmetics’ expansion into Ulta last year, the company’s revenue climbed 9% last year to an estimated $360 million, with the overall valuation of the brand estimated at $900 million, which Forbes called a “conservative” report at the time.
“I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future,” Jenner told Forbes. “But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back.”
After launching her namesake makeup company, Jenner used her loyal fanbase and powerful social media platform to catapult the brand into one of the fastest growing companies in the beauty business. According to Coty’s investor call, Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin now have the highest engagement among all beauty brands on social media.
When Jenner graced the cover of Forbes‘ ranking of the most successful female businesswomen in July 2018, the outlet reported that Kylie Cosmetics has sold more than $630 million worth of makeup since its initial launch, which includes an estimated $330 million in 2017 alone. Combining all of the mogul’s profits, Forbes estimated the brand alone is worth nearly $800 million at the time.
The mogul credited her millions of social media followers (she now has upwards of 270 million) as the key to her success. “Social media is an amazing platform,” she said in the Forbes cover story. “I have such easy access to my fans and my customers.”
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