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Exclusive: Beauty industry supplier Knowlton readies IPO


© Reuters.

By Joshua Franklin

(Reuters) – Buyout firm Cornell Capital is preparing a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) of Knowlton Development Corp (KDC), which could value the manufacturer and custom formulator of products for the beauty industry at more than $5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Cornell Capital has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:) to lead KDC’s IPO, which may raise around $750 million and come later this year, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the matter is private.

The sources cautioned that the IPO plans are subject to market conditions. Cornell Capital and Goldman Sach declined to comment.

Longueuil, Québec-based KDC, operates under the brand name KDC/ONE, and provides manufacturing and packaging services to beauty and personal care companies.

The IPO plans come at a challenging time for the $500 billion global beauty industry, as people stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has affected demand for makeup products, though the personal care sector, which includes products such as bath soap and shampoo, has performed better.

Industry executives have talked about a broader recovery for the sector once COVID-19 vaccines are largely available.

Cornell led an investor group to buy KDC in 2018 and since then has purchased a string of add-on companies to help expand it, including HCT Group and Zobele Group.

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