Universal Beauty Group increases its capital to finance development


SAINT-RÉMY-DE-PROVENCE, France, December 09, 2021– (BUSINESS WIRE) –The French natural cosmetics company, known for its Végétalement Provence brand, announces a capital increase of 6 million euros from a group of investors led by Connect Pro, an investment fund based in Marseille.

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(Photo: Vegetally Provence)

New shareholders

The arrival of new investors to develop Végétalement Provence, is led by Connect Pro alongside the private equity funds BNP Paribas Développement and Etoile Capital, whose membership in leading banking groups, will ensure the sustainability of the support. Funding is supplemented by the Région Sud Investissement fund.

“We were won over by the commitment and geographic proximity of Connect Pro and its co-investors, to help businesses in our region develop in France and internationally”.

Vincent Faraco,
Co-founder of Universal Beauty Group

At the end of the transaction, the founders, Vincent Faraco and Jean-Marc Delabre, will remain reference shareholders and will continue to lead the group.

“We are proud to invest in Universal Beauty Group, which will be the first investment of our new Sud Rebound fund launched in June this year. This adventure at the heart of the local economic ecosystem is fully in line with our strategy of supporting the development of key businesses in our region ”.

Franck Paoli,
President and Founder of Connect Pro

Growth partners

The entry of investors into the company’s capital will allow the company to accelerate its development in the booming natural beauty sector, a market which is expected to show annual growth of 6 to 9% over the period 2021. -2027.

This operation follows the first investment in the company’s capital in 2017 by the private equity fund Audacia, whose support made it possible to double the number of product references and to open 3 own-brand concept fairs alongside around twenty independent concept shows under the Végétalement Provence brand, including the last show opened in Lyon in October.

V̩g̩talement Provence Рa committed beauty brand

In 2008, Universal Beauty Group launched into the distribution of hair brands before launching its own brand Végétalement Provence in 2011 to offer hairdressing professionals a technical product that is more respectful of the environment and the health of customers. In a few years, Végétalement Provence has become a premium beauty brand recognized as much by professionals as by the general public in search of well-being.

With 170,000 products sold in 2020, Universal Beauty Group forecasts a turnover of € 4 million in 2021, with an EBITDA margin of around 20%. 70% of sales are made in mainland France, 15% in Reunion Island and 15% internationally. Its eco-responsible products have been awarded numerous prizes for their innovation, and are acclaimed by international colorists and hairdressers looking for natural and efficient products. The brand is distributed through more than 500 points of sale and through its own e-shop.

Established in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in the South of France since 2014, Universal Beauty Group, with the support of its teams, its training center and its logistics base, is ready to become a major player in alternative cosmetics and beauty.

“We are delighted to welcome our new partners who will bring their vision and support to the growth of Végétalement Provence, whose potential is limitless”.

Jean-Marc Delabre,
Co-founder of Universal Beauty Group

Among the projects for Végétalement Provence

The range of products, designed and developed in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence will be further extended. With the support of its new investor base focused on the region, Universal Beauty will place particular emphasis on innovation.

The company also plans to open a concept store in Paris in spring 2022, a new base for Végétalement Provence. A significant investment will be devoted to the digital development of the brand and to the support of e-commerce. Previously more focused on its domestic market, the new round of financing will allow the company to consolidate its international expansion.

“We are delighted to support the managers of Végétalement Provence in this great adventure. With its unique products, Végétalement Provence responds to a fundamental trend. The increase in the number of people looking for natural products continues to grow and will offer important development opportunities. “

Remy Garello,
CEO of Connect Pro

Fundraising process

The transaction is the culmination of a competitive process launched in May 2021 to seek an investor. The process has aroused very strong interest both in France and abroad from haircare and beauty companies, as well as private equity and family offices.

Universal Beauty Group was advised by Richard Morgan Advisory (Richard Morgan) and the law firm Volt Associés (Stéphane Letranchant, Lucas d’Orgeval). The investors were advised by the law firm Nova Partners (Olivier Nett, Julien Immoff), with the financial audit carried out by Deloitte Finance (Thomas Gorguis).

Universal Beauty Group – Vegetally Provence

Since its launch in 2011, with its hair and care ranges, Végétalement Provence has quickly established itself as a real alternative to major brands among hairdressers and beauty professionals.

Its ranges of high-performance plant products, with natural and organic sourcing, meet the needs of a demanding professional audience looking for technical prowess with a philosophy of eco-responsibility. In addition to the attractiveness and performance of its products, Universal Beauty Group benefits from a network of professional customers whose resale rate of Végétalement Provence products is unmatched. While the industry’s usual resale rate in France is around 5%, it exceeds 20% with Végétalement Provence.

Today, the brand offers a range of more than 275 different beauty product references, including 140 in haircare and consumer care, covering all needs.

Its ranges combine not only beauty and health, but also well-being on the basis of innovation and commitment.

The development of creative styling products and the introduction of a specific line for ethnic hair complete the product line. The Essentiels collection, with its shampoos and conditioners, has become a must-have for lovers of the brand.

For its professional customers, Végétalement Provence offers a range of more than 130 coloring references, with an offer by oxidation and an organic offer based on vegetable powder.

Végétalement Provence now has around twenty employees at its headquarters in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.


Connect Pro

Since its creation in 2007, Connect Pro has supported SMEs in the South of France in their development and transmission needs with more than € 70 million in invested capital. Among the most recent acquisitions, Mariton designs, manufactures and distributes custom mosquito nets and interior blinds, EITP, a heating and air conditioning company and Pharma Santé Développement, a group of independent pharmacies. With Sud Rebond, Connect Pro launched its third fund in June 2021 with fundraising of more than € 15 million from institutional investors and entrepreneurs in the South-East of France. It will be supplemented by a second fundraising in the first half of 2022 to reach € 25 million.


BNP Paribas Development

One of the private equity funds of the BNP Paribas banking group, BNP Paribas Développement, manages € 1 billion of its own funds, investing directly to support the development of successful mid-size companies. BNP Paribas Développement, whose mission is to support management teams in carrying out medium-term strategic projects, has a portfolio of more than 400 holdings.


Star Capital

Etoile Capital, a subsidiary of the Crédit du Nord bank, is a shareholder in French SMEs in very diverse sectors, with a portfolio currently of around twenty holdings. It is positioned as a shareholder in the capital of client companies of the various Regional Banks that make up the Crédit du Nord group. The fund provides the shareholders and managers of its invested companies with its expertise in strategic thinking and the means to accelerate their development.


South Investment Region

Région Sud Investissement is the regional investment company created in 2010 by the South Region of France to support the emergence and development of high-growth companies.
The Sud Investissement Region, endowed with € 134 million, benefits from the support of the European Union through the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), which contributes 42% of its funding. The Sud Investissement Region is advised by Turenne Groupe in the management of its investments.


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