Struggling beauty holding company Coty, looking for some Kardashian magic, is spending $200 million for a 20% stake in Kim Kardashian West's beauty business.
The move follows Coty’s 2019 purchase of a 51% share in Kardashian West's half-sister Kylie Jenner’s brands, a $600 deal that drew criticism from investors.
Coty says it will have overall responsibility for the portfolio, which includes skincare, haircare, personal care and nail products. It says it intends to lead the venture into new beauty categories as well as new global markets.
Plans call for Kardashian West and her team to head creative efforts for products and communications, leveraging her 300 million followers in personal and brand social media channels.
Coty is valuing the company at $1 billion, prompting husband Kanye West to tweet: “I am so proud of my beautiful wife Kim Kardashian West for officially becoming a billionaire. You’ve weathered the craziest storms, and now God is shining on you and our family.”
Last month, Forbes stripped the younger Jenner of her billionaire status in a story called “Inside Kylie Jenner’s web of lies -- and why she’s no longer a billionaire.”
The deal comes at a delicate time for Coty. Back in 2016, it paid Procter & Gamble $12.5 billion for its beauty brands, including Max Factor and Cover Girl. But between a waning interest in cosmetics, the pandemic and a heavy debt load, Coty's definitely in distress.
Earlier this month, it got a $4.3 billion lifeline from investment firm KKR, in a deal that will turn Wella hair products into a standalone company, 60% owned by KKR.
In its most recent quarterly results, Coty’s revenues dropped 23%, to $1.53 billion, and a loss of $271.6 million.
It’s also shaken up leadership, with chairman Peter Harf assuming the additional role of CEO. The company also created a three-person executive committee, including Harf, Coty chief financial officer Pierre-André Terisse, and Gordon von Bretten, who joins Coty from KKR as its first-ever chief transformation officer.
It’s also been a busy week for Kanye West, who signed a multiyear deal with the Gap.
The move stunned the fashion world, but some think it may be good business for the Gap. “The deal provides Gap a significant celebrity stamp of approval,” writes Paul Trussell, an analyst who follows the company for Deutsche Bank. “That should drive a substantial uptick in traffic and sales next year, with 2020 set to be the brand’s 7th consecutive year of same-store sales declines.”