From APC to Birkenstock: A Timeline of L Catterton Investments, Acquisitions

From a multi-billion-dollar bid for Birkenstock back in 2021 to its enduring stake in Rihanna’s successful Savage x Fenty lingerie venture, L Catterton has been making headlines with increasing frequency. With more than 250 investments under its belt, no shortage of which come in the form of to fashion and retail entities, Greenwich, Connecticut-based L Catterton is not only one of must-know names in the private equity space, but it has become a particularly relevant force in fashion and beauty funding.

Initially launched as Catterton in 1989, a leading consumer-focused private equity firm, the current version of the firm, L Catterton, got its start in 2016 when luxury goods behemoth LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton entered into the fold. Together with Groupe Arnault, the family holding company of LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault, LVMH partnered with Catterton’s existing North American and Latin American private equity operations, and combined it with LVMH and Groupe Arnault’s existing European and Asian private equity and real estate operations to create what would become “the largest, diversified consumer-dedicated private equity firm in the world.” Currently boasting approximately $30 billion of assets under management, L Catterton says that it “dedicated to growing middle market companies and emerging high-growth enterprises,” and believes that it is “the largest and most experienced consumer-focused private equity group in the world.”

Against that background, here is a look at the timeline behind L Catterton’s quest to build “iconic and enduring consumer brands,” which has seen it invest in leading consumer brands across various consumer goods/services segments. The following are companies in which L Catterton – and its various regional arms – currently maintain or have historically maintained a stake. The nature of the stake (venture/minority or majority), the strategy (growth, flagship buyout, etc.), and status of the investment (current or historical) are indicated.

(Please note: This is not an exhaustive of the acquisitions and investments that exist in relation to L Catterton, and instead, focuses exclusively on fashion, beauty, and other retail entities.)

Apr. 2024: KIKO Milano (majority)

L Catterton has entered a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in the Italian beauty brand KIKO Milano from the founding Percassi Family, which will retain “a significant stake in the company.” Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Jul. 2023: Irene Forte Skincare (venture/minority) (growth)

Irene Forte Skincare, a Certified B-Corp and pioneer in high-performance natural skincare, has secured a minority investment from L Catterton to support the brand’s global expansion. The investment positions the company for continued growth in Europe and the U.S. as the brand expands its presence among luxury retailers and online partners.

Apr. 2023: Dibs Beauty (venture/minority) (growth) 

Dibs Beauty, a fast growing color cosmetics brand, treceived a significant growth capital investment from L Catterton. Launched in September 2021, DIBS Beauty reunites the Co-Founders of TULA Skincare, Ken Landis (also Co-Founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics) and tech entrepreneur Dan Reich, with Austin-based entrepreneur and mom, Courtney Shields, and former Chief Operating Officer of ARod Corp, Jeff Lee. L Catterton previously partnered with TULA until its acquisition by Procter & Gamble.

Mar. 2023: APC (majority) 

Atelier de Production et de Création (“A.P.C.”), a globally recognized French clothing brand, and L Catterton announced on March 2, 2023 that they signed binding agreements to form a strategic partnership to advance the brand’s international presence. L Catterton Europe will acquire a controlling interest in A.P.C., while founder Jean Touitou and Judith Touitou will continue to hold a significant minority.

Dec. 2022: BloomChic (venture/minority) (Asia)

BloomChic, a digital-first fashion and lifestyle destination for modern women sized 10-30, received an investment from L Catterton. This positions BloomChic to embark on its next stage of growth and further realize its vision of enabling mid- and plus-size women to easily find clothes that fit them and their lives, in line with the company’s core values of inclusivity, empowerment, and accessibility.

May 2022: Sugar Cosmetics (venture/minority) (Asia)

SUGAR Cosmetics, one of India’s largest omni-channel beauty companies and a cult favorite amongst Gen Z and Millennial consumers, closed its $50 million Series D fundraise led by the Asia fund of L Catterton. The upsized round saw strong interest from multiple private equity funds with continued participation from existing investors – A91 Partners, Elevation Capital, and India Quotient – firmly placing the company on track to further capitalize on its growth momentum in the rapidly expanding beauty and personal care market in the country.

Sept. 2021: Merit (venture/minority) (growth) 

MERIT, the minimalist beauty brand led by CEO Katherine Power, closed a $20 million Series A funding round led by the Growth Fund of L Catterton, along with participation from Marcy Venture Partners and Sonoma Brands. 

Jul. 2021: Etro (majority stake) (Europe)

Etro announced on July 18 that it has entered into a binding agreement to partner with L Catterton. Under the terms of the agreement, L Catterton Europe will acquire a majority stake in the Company, while the Etro family will retain a significant minority. Etro Founder Gerolamo Etro will be appointed as Chairman of the Company.

May. 2021: Sociolla (venture/minority) (Asia)

L Catterton announced an investment in Social Bella International (“Sociolla”), the leading beauty and personal care e-commerce player in Indonesia. L Catterton will join the Company’s board and support the founders in reaching new consumers and meeting the growing demand within the beauty and personal care category. This investment will provide more Gen-Z and Millennial consumers with access to Sociolla’s trusted and curated high-quality beauty and personal care brands in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Feb. 2021: Birkenstock (majority stake) (flagship buyout, Europe, Asia) 

Birkenstock agreed to sell a majority stake to L Catterton, it confirmed on February 26, in a deal that brings the maker of comfy, blocky sandals in the orbit of French luxury powerhouse, LVMH. While “the family-owned German company did not disclose financial details of a deal it said would help it to grow in China and India as well as expand its online business,” per Reuters. Sources say the transaction values the company at approximately 4 billion euros ($4.85 billion).

Investment Status: Current. After Birkenstock’s October 11, 2023 IPO, L Catterton will hold an 82.8 percent stake in Birkenstock and control a majority of the combined voting power of its outstanding shares.

Feb. 2021: Savage x Fenty (venture/minority) (growth) 

The lingerie company that Rihanna founded with TechStyle Fashion Group closed a $115 million Series B fundraising round led by L Catterton.

Dec. 2020: Function of Beauty (venture/minority) (flagship buyout) 

Function of Beauty, a leading creator of customizable hair, skin, and body care products, received a $150 million strategic minority investment from L Catterton. “The investment will accelerate the Company’s product development, support its continued worldwide expansion, and build upon its already industry-leading customized manufacturing capabilities,” per Function of Beauty.

Sept. 2020: Everlane (venture/minority) (flagship buyout)

Catterton led an $85 million funding round for San Francisco-based clothing retailer Everlane.

Feb. 2019: ThirdLove (venture/minority) (growth)

Lingerie startup ThirdLove announced closed a $55 million funding round led by L Catterton and Allen & Company.

Nov. 2018: OWNDAYS (majority stake) 

L Catterton partnered with Mitsui & Co. to invest in Japanese eyewear company OWNDAYS.

Investment Status: Historical. On August 12, 2022, L Catterton completed the sale of its stake in OWNDAYS to Lenskart.

Jul. 2018: SECOO (venture/minority) (Asia)

L Catterton Asia, the Asian unit of the largest and most global consumer-focused private equity firm in the world, and, China’s largest retailer, entered into a strategic partnership with Secoo Holding Limited, Asia’s largest online integrated upscale products and services platform. Through the partnership, L Catterton Asia and JD will invest $175 million in Secoo.

Jun. 2018: Honest Company (venture/minority) (flagship buyout)

The Honest Company recieved a $200 million strategic minority investment from L Catterton to accelerate the Jessica Alba co-founded company’s “innovation initiatives, as well as provide access to operational capabilities that will bolster its supply chain and global reach.”

Updated: According to PitchBook, L Catterton was positioned for “the largest windfall” in connection with Honest Company’s Nasdaq IPO in 2021, in which it raised around $413 million, as L Catterton owned “around 37% of The Honest Company’s shares before the offering.” L Catterton lists its investment status in Honest Company as “current” on its website. 

May 2018: Future Lifestyle Fashions Limited (venture/minority) (Asia) 

L Catterton Asia announced a significant investment in Future Lifestyle Fashions Limited (“FLFL”), India’s largest integrated branded fashion company. L Catterton Asia acquired an approximately 10% stake in FLFL through a mix of preferential allotment and secondary purchase of shares.

Dec. 2017: Ganni (majority stake) (Europe) 

L Catterton entered into “a definitive agreement to make a strategic investment in Ganni” in exchange for 51 percent ownership, with the funds said to fuel the Danish contemporary fashion label’s expansion in Europe, the U.S., and Asia.

Sept. 2017: Gentle Monster (majority stake) (Asia) 

In September 2017, L Catterton revealed that it was leading a consortium of investors making an investment in IICombined Co. Ltd., which owns and operates the South Korean luxury eyewear brand Gentle Monster. The firm did not disclose the value of the investment.

Investment Status: Historical.

Jun. 2017: Oddity Tech (venture/minority) (growth) 

Oddity Tech-owned IL MAKIAGE New York received a $29 million growth capital investment from the Growth Fund of L Catterton. The significant capital investment will be used to support and accelerate the expansion of IL MAKIAGE in the United States.

Updated: Oddity Tech listed on the Nasdaq in July 2023, valuaing Catterton’s roughly $50 million investment in the company at about $900 million based on the closing price of $47.53 per Oddity share. 

Apr. 2017: Mizzen+Main (venture/minority) (growth) 

Mizzen+Main, an American-made menswear brand, received a significant growth investment from Catterton. The capital investment will be used to support Mizzen+Main’s growth by expanding the brand’s product offering and omni-channel presence. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Mar. 2017: TULA (venture/minority) (growth) 

TULA, a leading innovative skincare brand, received a significant growth capital investment from L Catterton. The investment will be used to drive TULA’s rapid growth by funding marketing, working capital and product development. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Investment Status: Historical. TULA was acquired in 2022 by Procter & Gamble.

Mar. 2017: Rhone (venture/minority) (growth)

Rhone, the premier men’s activewear and lifestyle brand, received a significant growth investment from L Catterton. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Investment Status: Historical

Jan. 2017: Kopari (venture/minority) (growth)

Kopari Beauty, the digitally native e-commerce beauty brand that has planted its flag in coconut oil, recieved a significant growth capital investment from L Catterton in a round that also included Karlie Kloss, Shay Mitchell, Hilary Duff, Mila Kunis, and Ashton Kutcher. The capital raised both from L Catterton and the company’s celebrity investors will help propel Kopari’s continued growth throughout the United States and expansion into international markets, as well as drive Kopari’s continued R&D and product innovation.

Aug. 2016: Hanna Andersson (majority stake) (flagship buyout) 

L Catterton acquired premium children’s apparel and lifestyle brand Hanna Andersson from private equity firm Sun Capital Partners.

Feb. 2015: Sweaty Betty (majority stake) (growth) 

Premium activewear brand Sweaty Betty received “a strategic growth investment from L Catterton,” which is largest shareholder with a more than 60 percent stake in the business.

Investment Status: Historical. In an announcement on August 3, 2021, L Catterton revealed that it sold its stake in Sweaty Betty to Wolverine World Wide, Inc. Wolverine bought 100 percent of the company at a $410 million enterprise value, which includes debt. 

Feb. 2015: ba&sh (majority stake) (Europe) 

L Catterton acquired a 50 percent stake in affordable premium fashion brand ba&sh in 2015.

Investment Status: Historical. In March 2022, L Catterton sold its majority stake in ba&sh to HLD, an investment group specializing in the support and development of European companies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Dec. 2014: Seafolly (majority stake) (Asia) 

L Catterton acquired a 70 percent stake in the company for a reported 70 million Australian dollars. As of July 2020, the private equity firm was slated to reacquire Seafolly after the Sydney-based swimwear company entered voluntary administration in June.

Jul. 2014: John Hardy (majority stake) (flagship buyout) 

L Catterton acquired jewelry company John Hardy for an undisclosed sum.

Apr. 2014: Giuseppe Zanotti (venture/minority) (Europe, Asia) 

L Catterton acquired a 30 percent stake of Vicini S.P.A., owner of the Giuseppe Zanotti footwear brand in April 2014.

Dec. 2013: 2XU (majority stake) (Asia) 

Following an initial investment in the premium performance-focused active wear in 2013 in exchange for a 40 percent ownership stake, L Catterton bought out other 2XU shareholders, including co-founder Clyde Davenport, John Wylie’s investment vehicle Tanarra Capital and co-founders Aidan Clarke and Jamie Hunt, in 2019.

Jun. 2011: Cover FX (venture/minority) (growth)

Cover FX recieved a capital investment from Catterton Partners. The proceeds of the investment will be used to accelerate growth in domestic and global markets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Investment Status: Historical.

Sept. 2010: SMCP (minority stake) (Europe) 

Groupe SMCP, which controls the Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot brands, sold a 51 percent stake to L Catterton in September 2010.

Investment Status: Historical.

Aug. 2010: Pepe Jeans (venture/minority) (Asia) 

After making an initial investment in 2010, L Catterton and Lebanese investment firm M1Group acquired a majority stake in Pepe Jeans in 2015.

Investment Status: Historical. L Catterton currently lists its majority stake (Europe) as historical; it maintains a minority/venture stake in the company.

2009: Dondup (minority) (Asia/Europe)

Stakes in Italian lifestyle brand Dondup were acquired by the European arm of L Capital in 2009 and then by L Capital Asia in 2015.

Investment Status: Historical. In March 2021, Made in Italy Fund acquired Dondup from the European and Asian Funds of L Catterton. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.