Retail in Asia


Carlyle Group buys majority stake in India’s VLCC

Global private-equity firm Carlyle announced on January 10 it has taken a majority stake in Indian skincare and beauty platform, VLCC.

SEE ALSO: India’s Reliance in talks for Prabal Gurung stake

Carlyle said that equity for the transaction will come from funds managed and advised by entities affiliated with Carlyle Asia Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1989 by Vandana and Mukesh Luthra, VLCC is a homegrown Indian skincare, beauty and wellness business, with an integrated offering of branded skincare products and high-end specialised beauty and wellness services.

Since its inception, VLCC has established itself as a well-known brand in India by scaling its range of branded skincare and beauty products across physical retail and digital channels and expanding its network of clinics in tier-one and tier-two Indian cities.

The company is currently a market leader in India for facial kits and has an extensive product portfolio across skincare and sun care products.

Carlyle said it believes the Indian market is today characterised by product premiumisation and a shift in preference among the rising middle-class towards established brands, making the investment a timely one for the firm.

“We plan to help VLCC accelerate growth through investments in brand building; product expansion; scaling its pan-India digital and e-commerce distribution channels; and expanding its local footprint of retail clinics,” said Amit Jain, Managing Director and Co-Head, Carlyle India Advisors.

“We look forward to working with VLCC’s founders as we seek to strengthen the management team and draw on Carlyle’s deep global consumer experience and network of senior advisors.”

VLCC also provides aesthetic dermal treatments and weight management services across a network of 210 retail clinics in 118 cities and 11 countries in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In addition, it operates 100 skill development institutes in India, making it one of the largest providers of vocational training in the beauty and wellness sector in the country.

“In our view, the investment by one of the world’s largest global investment firms – that has built a stellar reputation for creating long-term value for companies, shareholders, people and communities – is a reaffirmation of the strength of the VLCC brand that we have nurtured, built and grown over the last three decades,” said Mukesh Luthra, Chairman of VLCC.

As part of the agreement, VLCC has also appointed Gurveen Singh and J. Suresh as independent directors to the board.

SEE ALSO: Online marketplaces in India to reach USD 350 billion in GMV by 2027

Carlyle has invested more than USD 5.5 billion of equity in over 40 transactions in India as of September 30, 2022.