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KKR Gives Coty a Lifeline in $4.3 Billion Deal for Beauty Unit

  • Cosmetics company had ‘too many’ product categories, COO says
  • Buyout firm also buying $750 million in preferred shares
Clairol 'Natural Instincts' hair dye 

Clairol 'Natural Instincts' hair dye 

Photographer: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

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Coty Inc. agreed to sell the Wella and Clairol brands to buyout firm KKR & Co. as part of a $4.3 billion deal including debt, giving the beleaguered cosmetics company a financial infusion as the coronavirus pandemic upends the retail industry.

The sale of Coty’s professional beauty and retail hair-care businesses also gives KKR a stake in Coty through $750 million in convertible preferred shares. Coty will carve out Wella into a standalone company in which KKR will acquire a 60% stake, with Coty retaining the rest, according to a statement Monday.