Purely Byron, a skincare company founded by Elsa Pataky and co-owned by her husband Chris Hemsworth, has been placed into administration.
Appointed last week, DW Advisory will head up the administration process and attempt to find a way forward for the skincare company that also counts BWX (ASX: BWX) as a substantial shareholder with a 48 per cent holding.
For Pataky, the news comes less than a year after the June 2022 launch of her brand - described on the skincare company’s website as ‘a natural skincare range that captures the essence of Byron, celebrating its powerful native botanicals’.
Conceived in 2019, Purely Byron was inspired by the New South Wales coastal town’s beauty, community and spirit according to the brand’s website.
“I was introduced to some of the native botanicals grown locally in Byron and I was really intrigued,” Pataky said.
“I learnt that some of them could be clinically-proven to effect change on the skin.
“An idea for a locally made skincare range was born.”
Since launch, Purely Byron released its first ‘Native Sunrise Blend’ product, which quickly became a best-seller according to the brand, as well as its ‘Derma Roller’ and ‘Divine Ritual Balm’.
In August 2022, the company claimed to have started ‘working with local charities’ to donate a portion of each sale to those in need. Information about this element of the business is scant, and the Purely Byron website simply says ‘more to come’ with regards to its charitable ambitions.
Purely Byron and DW Advisory have both been approached for comment but are yet to respond at the time of writing. BWX’s chief financial officer Birol Akdogan was also asked about Purely Byron’s administration but refused to comment.
The news comes two weeks after BWX CEO Rory Gration resigned alongside the release of the firm’s $100 million 1H23 loss.
That dire first-half report saw BWX incur more than $60 million of impairments during the period, including $2.8 million attributed to a write-down of its investment in Purely Byron that was initially made in 2021 for $490,000.
The same year, BWX also acquired Flora & Fauna for around $30 million and Zoe Foster-Blake’s Go-To Skincare.
By 30 June 2022, BWX’s investment in Purely Byron decreased to 48.1 per cent from 49 per cent due to a dilution event. In that same financial year, the Sukin owner also issued $3 million of interest bearing loans to Purely Byron, of which $900,000 remained undrawn. The company added that - combined with Australian suncare brand Naked Sundays - the brands accounted for $723,000 in total losses for FY22.
Shares in BWX are up 5.26 per cent to $0.20 per share at 2.03pm AEDT.
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