Conair taps advisor for sale of liquid hair-care assets, sources say

Provided by Mergermarket

Conair Corporation, a manufacturer of kitchen electrics, personal care and beauty products, is working with Sawaya Partners on selling some of its liquid hair-care brands, said three sources familiar with the situation. The assets deliver about USD 130m in annual revenue and have approximately USD 20m to USD 25m in EBITDA, according to two of the sources.

The first and second of the sources said the assets Conair is selling include Aquage, Rusk and One ‘n Only, which include a variety of hair color, spray, mousse and oil products. The second source said the process is currently going through management presentations.

The third source said an 8x-10x EBITDA multiple would make sense for these assets, as that’s where consumer products normally trade. However, the source added that the sellers are looking to comp the divest to PDC Brands, which sold to CVC Capital Partners last year, and to Paris Presents, which sold to Yellow Wood Partners two months ago. Both businesses sold for close to 14x, though the source added that he viewed these multiples as being too high. Paris Presents was backed by a USD 380m loan deal in September, which included a USD 270m first lien TLB, a USD 85m second lien and a USD 25m revolver, which put leverage at about 6x.

Either sponsors or strategics could be buyers of the Conair carve-out, the second source said. He added that L’Oreal, Coty and Henkel could make sense as strategic acquirers. Coty trades on the NYSE for an 11.3x enterprise value/ EBITDA multiple.

Other recent hair-care deals include Acon Investments buying hair-styling tool maker Goody Products in August and L’Oreal’s acquisition of hair-color brand Pulp Riot in May, although purchase prices weren’t disclosed.

East Windsor, New Jersey-based Conair is a family-owned business that was founded in 1959 by Leandro Rizzuto in his parents’ garage in Queens, New York. The co-founder and chairman owned the company until his death in 2017, at which point ownership was passed on to his children. In 2002, Rizzuto pled guilty to tax evasion charges associated with his role as chief executive of Conair.

Rizzuto’s son Leandro Rizzuto Jr. took over the ownership of the company after his father’s death but has stepped away from day-to-day management of the company, according to reports. Ronald Diamond has led Conair as chief executive since 2008.

Some of Conair’s other products include hair dryers, curling irons, straighteners, hair clippers and trimmers, as well as a variety of skin care items, shower accessories and makeup.

Conair and Sawaya did not return requests for comment.


by Anastasia Donde, Emily Fasold and Deborah Balshem


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