Oakley Capital (‘Oakley’), the pan-European private equity investor, is pleased to announce that portfolio company WindStar Medical GmbH (‘WindStar’) has acquired L.A.B. Cosmetics GmbH & Co. KG (‘L.A.B.’), a leading provider of ‘clean beauty’ products. The founders of L.A.B. are reinvesting in the combined business and will continue to manage L.A.B. in partnership with WindStar.
Based in Hamburg, Germany, L.A.B. specialises in the development, fulfilment and marketing of ‘clean beauty’ cosmetics that are free from harmful chemicals, selling its fast-growing flagship brands DAYTOX and BEAUTY GLAM via leading European retailers as well as via online direct-to-consumer (‘D2C’) channels and marketplaces.
WindStar is Germany’s leading over-the-counter (‘OTC’) consumer healthcare company which designs, develops and commercialises branded consumer health and private label products, with a track record of establishing best-in-class medical formulations and brands. Oakley first invested in the business in October 2020 to support the company’s growth strategy and scale the business through continued product innovation, digitalisation, and accretive acquisitions.
Partnering with L.A.B. will enable WindStar to enter the highly attractive clean beauty segment, which is forecast to outgrow the $450bln global beauty and personal care market through 2025. L.A.B.’s revenues are expected to more than double in 2021, with strong demand for its innovative, science-led products which are free from additives and are PETA and vegan-approved.
Oakley’s investment and deep expertise in growing consumer platforms, particularly in the DACH region including Verivox, Parship Elite and more recently Wishcard Technologies and 7NXT / Gymondo, will help L.A.B. to further grow its flagship brands, particularly in online channels and into international markets. L.A.B. will also benefit from resource-sharing Windstar’s central functions, including regulatory, IT and admin, boosting synergies and supporting the growth of the business.
Karin Hock and Slobodan Vucinic who founded L.A.B. in 1998 will roll a significant portion of their proceeds into the WindStar platform and will continue to lead L.A.B. into its next stage as joint Managing Directors.
L.A.B. co-founders and Managing Directors Karin Hock and Slobodan Vucinic said: “We are delighted to be joining the WindStar platform as we seek to further grow L.A.B. Cosmetics by diversifying our sales channels, and by leveraging the experience of Oakley Capital and WindStar in building successful D2C and online businesses. It is a very exciting phase for us as entrepreneurs and we cannot wait to exploit the full potential of our brands within the new structure, and to work with René and his team”.
WindStar CEO René Flaschker said: “L.A.B. has a really exciting portfolio of products built around its flagship brands. We have been impressed by the performance of DAYTOX and BEAUTY GLAM, and look forward to working with Karin and Slobodan to expand Windstar and L.A.B. and take advantage of the strong growth drivers in the core markets of both businesses.”
Oakley Capital Managing Partner Peter Dubens said: “L.A.B. Cosmetics is exactly the right fit for WindStar: a high-growth business in the attractive ‘clean beauty’ market, led by an impressive founder-manager team. Karin and Slobodan have built a business which we believe will add material value to WindStar, and we look forward to working with them to further realise L.A.B.’s significant potential. Acquisitions form a key part of Oakley’s growth strategy as we look to further develop WindStar into one of Europe’s leading consumer healthcare businesses.”