Value of Broadlake exits reaches €100m in just months

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Dublin-headquartered private investment firm Broadlake has sold its majority stake in Irish skincare and self-tan company Vita Liberata to US-based Crown Laboratories.

The deal is set to be worth in the region of $30m (€25m), according to market sources.

"We backed an ambitious team in 2012 and over the last five years have supported them during a period of phenomenal growth. Over this time the company has successfully developed its product ranges, brands, channels and international reach," Pete Smyth, founder and CEO of Broadlake, said.

Founded in 2003 by EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist Alyson Hogg, Vita Liberata markets itself as the first completely non-toxic tanning brand.

Ms Hogg will stay on as president of consumer brands for Crown Laboratories, a speciality pharmaceutical company focused on dermatology, which has the backing of US private investment firm Hildred Capital Partners.

"Crown and Hildred have a genuine understanding of the sun care market and a very impressive vision for the Vita Liberata brand. We are thrilled to partner with them to leverage Crown's strong positioning within the dermatology space and advance our mission of making self-tanning a viable alternative to sun exposure for all," Alyson Hogg said.

While Broadlake has not disclosed the amount it invested in the company, it typically invests between €2m and €10m in established and growing businesses.

The aim of its investment in Vita Liberata in 2012 was to accelerate the international growth of the business, supporting its successful expansion into the North American market.

Already Vita Liberata's products are sold in premium retailers across the US and Europe.

This is Broadlake's second major deal in a little over two months. In November last year it sold its stake in shower enclosures company Merlyn Industries to the UK-based Norcros.

The Kilkenny-based firm, which employs people in the UK and Asia as well as Ireland, was acquired on a debt-free, cash-free basis, subject to certain adjustments, from its shareholders the Hoyne family and Broadlake for £60m (€68m).