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Skincare Brand Paula’s Choice Said to Explore IPO This Year

The Seattle-based company has held discussions with underwriters about raising $300 million or more in an initial public offering.
Paula's Choice. Courtesy.

Paula’s Choice, which sells skincare products such as cleansers, sunscreen and moisturisers, is exploring going public as soon as this year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Seattle-based company, backed by private equity firm TA Associates since 2016, has held discussions with underwriters about raising $300 million or more in an initial public offering, said the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. Paula’s Choice previously explored an outright sale and attracted interest from at least two private equity firms, one of the people said, while cautioning that a final decision hasn’t been made.

Representatives for TA Associates and Paula’s Choice didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The company, which makes fragrance-free products with natural and synthetic ingredients and doesn’t test on animals, was founded by author and entrepreneur Paula Begoun in 1995. It has operations in the US, Europe, Australia and Asia, and is sold by retailers including Amazon, Sephora and Nordstrom.

Beauty companies have garnered investor interest as consumer spending in the category is expected to remain strong. In April, Carlyle Group Inc. said it acquired a majority stake in the parent of clean-beauty brand BeautyCounter, valuing the company at $1 billion.

Last month, The Honest Co., which makes skincare and other beauty products that are free of chemical ingredients, made its public debut. Its shares were trading around $19.69 as of noon New York time on Thursday, 23 percent higher than its $16 IPO price.

By Crystal Tse, Gillian Tan

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