Brand additions

PDC Brands’ acquisition of Original Additions is the latest step towards becoming a global leader in its market.

Since its acquisition of PDC Brands in 2012, Boston-based PE house Yellow Wood Partners has embarked on an aggressive global buy-and-build strategy to turn the US consumer products company into a global leader across a range of beauty and personal care categories.

Four years and eight brand acquisitions later, Yellow Wood partner Tad Yanagi feels the business is well on its way to achieving its objectives. “We have specifically targeted businesses where we can leverage the PDC platform’s strengths in retail distribution, looking for businesses that fit that mantra.”

Today PDC’s brands include Dr Teal’s, Body Fantasies, Bod Man, Cantu, Bodycology and Calgon, which are found in retailers throughout the US and more than 50 markets globally.

The Spend – Brand additions Image

European focus

A particular focus for PDC has been to increase its presence across Europe, a region which Yanagi describes as “very attractive”. “We did a lot of research to try and understand if there was end market demand for our products across Europe, and the overwhelming answer was yes. The question then became how to bring PDC’s products to market via the most cost-efficient distributional model.”

The answer came through fast-growing branded consumer goods business Original Additions (OA), a company behind some of the UK’s best-selling beauty accessory brands in eyelashes, artificial nails and cosmetics, and which also runs a Salon System business for beauty therapists, salons and spas.

Yanagi says Original Additions was a perfect fit from a distribution point of view. “The company had direct selling relationships with retailers across the UK and into Europe, but what was also particularly interesting for us was that it had started making serious moves into the US market following its buyout by private equity house LDC in 2011. We became aware of it via its presence in US retailers such as Ulta, Target and Walmart. We could immediately see the potential for cross-selling opportunities in both directions.

“It was a striking opportunity to acquire premier brands with exceptional product innovation, brands which by themselves were also driving strong growth in their own particular markets. We knew these brands could travel.”

Cross-border challenges

Since completing the acquisition of OA in 2016, Yanagi says one of the biggest priorities is to maintain the culture that has made the company so successful.

“We need to ensure that the senior management team is properly incentivised and excited about the potential of the deal, and that staff are also fully aware of the global opportunity that this deal creates. At the same time it is also really important to continue to give managers sufficient autonomy over their brands.”

Back to The Spend homepage.

The Spend – Brand additions Image