After dedicating eight years to growing her Sydney-based naturopathic skincare brand Edible Beauty, founder Anna Mitsios is selling the company to Live Verdure (ASX: LV1) in a $1 million cash-and-scrip deal.
The transaction will see LV1 add a third direct-to-consumer wellness brand to its portfolio, with Edible Beauty to join hemp wellness and skincare brands 13 Seeds and 8 Seeds.
“It has always been my mission and vision to make holistic beauty mainstream and to touch as many people’s lives as possible with strategies to transform their skin and vitality,” Edible Beauty founder Anna Mitsios told Business News Australia.
“I felt that I had come as far as I could on my own and that to truly achieve this mission it made sense to join forces with an aligned company such as LV1.
“My focus will continue to remain on growing the Edible Beauty Australia brand in Australia and globally. My day-to-day operations may change to the extent that I am involved in more strategic initiatives related to the broader LV1 business - I am very excited to take on the role and to work with a very passionate and supportive management team.”
In 2014, Mitsios developed the brand whilst working as a naturopath in a fertility clinic after finding there was a lack of safe skincare products suitable for pregnant women. The topical skincare and wellness products are blended with food-grade ingredients like exotic oils, butters, vitamins, herbs, fruits and botanical extracts.
In FY22, the brand recorded revenue of $2.2 million, with 74 per cent comprising direct-to-consumer sales across Australia and New Zealand.
On a pro-forma basis for FY22, LV1 anticipates that Edible Beauty and its existing operations will deliver $4.2 million in revenue. LV1 says the acquisition will bolster the group’s presence in the rapidly growing health, wellness and skincare markets, whilst expanding the group’s target customer profile.
To fund the buyout, LV1 has received binding commitments from investors for a $2.1 million equity raise at an issue price of 15 cents per share. Edible Beauty will receive 75 per cent of the $1 million in cash and the remaining 25 per cent in shares.
In return, Edible Beauty has the potential to leverage LV1’s data, technology, marketing and fulfilment capabilities, allowing it to expand into new platforms such as Amazon USA.
The announcement of the buyout coincided with the news that former L’Oreal managing director Mark Tucker would immediately take the helm of Live Verdure as the company's new CEO.
Before becoming a director at L’Oreal Australia, Tucker spent six years at the cosmetics giant as general manager for the consumer division. During his tenure, the company’s revenue grew from $12 million to more than $400 million.
“This is a brilliant opportunity to acquire an established skincare and wellness brand with ample opportunities to grow revenue and bottom line. The brand has many desirable attributes which we can further build on,” Tucker said.
“We expect to develop new products to better complete the consumer offer, expand online and traditional retail distribution, and move to international markets when the timing is right.
“LV1’s resources will be applied to Edible Beauty to deliver these goals while gaining economies of scale and reducing overheads. We are delighted that the founder, Anna, is joining us as GM of Edible Beauty. Whilst working with me, I believe her naturopathic knowledge and innovative business approach will enhance Edible Beauty and our other LV1 brands.”
As part of the agreement, Mitsios will join the LV1 executive leadership team as founder and general manager of Edible Beauty.
LV1 anticipates that the acquisition will finalise in October subject to the satisfaction or waiver of material conditions.
Shares in LV1 are up 2.5 per cent to 20 cents each at 11:22am AEST.
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