Carlyle opens 2023 India deal count with buyout of Everstone-backed VLCC

 Carlyle opens 2023 India deal count with buyout of Everstone-backed VLCC

Private equity firm Carlyle said Tuesday it has acquired a majority stake in wellness firm VLCC via funds managed and advised by entities affiliated with Carlyle Asia Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

It is not clear if existing private equity investor Everstone, which sold two-thirds of its stake with modest returns ahead of a proposed initial public offering in 2021, has signed off completely in the latest transaction.

Founded in 1989 by Vandana and Mukesh Luthra, VLCC is a homegrown pioneer in India’s skincare, beauty and wellness market, with an integrated offering of branded skincare products and high-end specialized beauty and wellness services.

It also provides aesthetic dermal treatments and weight management services across a network of 210 retail clinics in 118 cities and 11 countries in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In addition, it operates 100 skill development institutes in India, making it one of the largest providers of vocational training in the beauty and wellness sector in the country.

Amit Jain, Managing Director and Co-Head, Carlyle India Advisors, said: “We plan to help VLCC accelerate growth through investments in brand building; product expansion; scaling its pan-India digital and e-commerce distribution channels; and expanding its local footprint of retail clinics.”

Vandana Luthra, Founder of VLCC, said: “We believe VLCC is well-positioned to capture a larger share of the fast-growing skincare, beauty and wellness market in the countries we operate in. With the Carlyle partnership, we have every confidence in VLCC’s prospects in capturing the market opportunities ahead of us and look forward to continuing to deliver on our mission of transforming lives by making skincare, beauty and wellness accessible to our customers.”

VLCC will be appointing Gurveen Singh, who retired as HR head at Reckitt Benckiser, and J Suresh, who recently retired as the Managing Director and CEO of Arvind Fashions after starting his career with Hindustan Unilever, as independent directors to the board.

Carlyle has previously invested in the consumer and retail sectors, as well as consumer-oriented businesses, including investments in Varmora, Grand Foods China (McDonald’s China franchisee) and Golden Goose among others. Globally, Carlyle has invested about $25 billion of equity in over 135 deals in the consumer, media and retail sector, as of September 30, 2022.

In India, it has invested more than $5.5 billion of equity in over 40 transactions as of September 30, 2022.

KPMG India acted as the exclusive transaction advisor to VLCC and the founders.

Vivek Sinha

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