Universal Beauty Group increases its capital to finance its development

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

New shareholders

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

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

Vincent Faraco,

Co-founder of Universal Beauty Group

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

“We are proud to invest in Universal Beauty Group, which will be the first investment from 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 to support the development of key activities in our territory”.

Frank Paoli,

President and Founder of Connect Pro

Growth Partners

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

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

Végétalement Provence – a committed beauty brand

In 2008, Universal Beauty Group began as a distributor of hair care 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 just a few years, Végétalement Provence has become a premium beauty brand recognized by both professionals and the general public in search of well-being.

With 170,000 products sold in 2020, Universal Beauty Group forecasts sales of €4 million in 2021, with an EBITDA margin of around 20%. 70% of sales are made in mainland France, 15% in Réunion and 15% internationally. Its eco-responsible products have been awarded numerous prizes for their innovation, and are acclaimed by international colorists and hairdressers in search of natural and high-performance 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 its teams, its training academy and its logistics base, is ready to become a major player in cosmetics and alternative 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 of Végétalement Provence

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

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

“We are delighted to support the directors 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 provide significant opportunities for development. “

Remy Garello,

Managing Director of Connect Pro

Fundraising process

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

Universal Beauty Group was advised by Richard Morgan Advisory (Richard Morgan) and 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 – Végétalement Provence

Since its launch in 2011, with its haircare and skincare 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-based products, with natural and organic sourcing, meet the needs of a demanding professional public looking for technical prowess in 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 usual resale rate for the sector 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 for consumer hair and skin care, covering all needs.

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

The development of creative styling products and the introduction of a specific line for ethnic hair complete the product range. The Essentials collection, with its shampoos and conditioners, has become a must 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 currently has around twenty employees at its head office in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

www.vegetalement.com

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 latest equity investments, Mariton designs, manufactures and distributes bespoke 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 a 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.

www.connect-pro.fr

BNP Paribas Development

One of the private equity funds of the BNP Paribas banking group, BNP Paribas Development, manages 1 billion euros of equity, investing directly to support the development of high-performance ETIs. BNP Paribas Développement, whose mission is to support management teams in carrying out medium-term strategic projects, has a portfolio of more than 400 investments.

www.bnpparibasdeveloppement.com

Capital Star

Etoile Capital, a subsidiary of the Crédit du Nord bank, is a shareholder in French SMEs in very diversified sectors, with a portfolio currently of around twenty holdings. It positions itself 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 shareholders and managers of the companies in which it invests with its expertise in strategic thinking and the means to accelerate their development.

www.corporatefinance.groupe-credit-du-nord.fr

South Region Investment

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.

Région Sud Investissement, endowed with €134 million, benefits from the support of the European Union through the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) which contributes 42% of its financing. Région Sud Investissement is advised by Turenne Groupe in the management of its holdings.

www.regionsudinvestment.com

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