Shiseido buys Drunk Elephant

Cosmetics giant Shiseido is to buy Drunk Elephant, a fast-growing prestige skincare brand recognised for clean product development. 

Drunk Elephant, founded in 2012 by Tiffany Masterson as a “solutions-oriented, cross-generational brand for all skin types”, has since grown exponentially across a range of consumer demographics including Gen Z and Millennials. The brand’s curated range features biocompatible ingredients to benefit the skin’s health and support the products’ formulations.

The brand will leverage Shiseido’s global platform and resources to expand into new and existing markets both in the Americas and internationally including Europe and Asia. 

“This transaction is squarely aligned with Shiseido’s Vision 2020 goal of accelerating growth and creating value through strategic partnerships,” said Shiseido president and CEO Masahiko Uotani. 

“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.”

“This new and incredibly exciting partnership builds on Shiseido’s significant momentum and successful track record of acquiring distinctive, best-in-class brands,” said Shiseido Americas CEO and chief growth officer Marc Rey. “Drunk Elephant is changing the way people understand and experience beauty by offering 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. We are thrilled to welcome Tiffany and the Drunk Elephant team to the Shiseido family and I know they will feel at home from day one.”

“I started this business as an industry outsider, and from the beginning I did things a little differently,” said Drunk Elephant founding partner and chief creative officer Tiffany Masterson. “To join with a powerhouse beauty company such as Shiseido that leads the industry in innovation and global excellence is a dream come true for me and for Drunk Elephant. We share similar values, most importantly an unwavering commitment to the consumer. I chose a partner who will let the brand continue to be itself, with the same formulations and the same team.”

The transaction was led by Shiseido Americas and the New York-based Shiseido Global M&A team, in close coordination with the company’s headquarters. Upon closing, Drunk Elephant will operate within Shiseido Americas, and Tiffany Masterson will continue in her role as chief creative officer and assume the additional role of president, reporting directly to Marc Rey. The transaction, in which Shiseido engaged Jeffries, is subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions and is expected to close before year end.

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