Wella is one of the world's leading professional haircare brands. Originating in Germany, the business was acquired in 2003 by Procter & Gamble along with a portfolio of other haircare and fragrance products. The deal consolidated the US giant's position as the undisputed #1 in global haircare. However the process of integrating Wella Group into P&G was slow and difficult, complicated by the refusal by some minority shareholders to sell out. As a result the group remained for several years a separate legal entity, only majority-owned by Procter & Gamble. Following the full buyout in 2006, the Wella brand was positioned as the group's main professional haircare range outside the US, while the old Wella Group's fragrance licenses were absorbed into P&G Prestige Products. Yet professional hair care remained a difficult sector for P&G. Wrestling with a sharp slowdown in performance across its entire beauty division, P&G agreed in 2015 to sell both Wella and the P&G Prestige fragrance business (as well as several other brands) to rival Coty. That deal completed more than a year later in 2016. By then, though, the performance of the former P&G brands - left in ownership limbo for so many months - has deteriorated, creating further problems for Coty. After four years struggling to turn them around, Coty called it quits, hiving off the bulk of the professional haircare and beauty brands it had accumulated into newly created Wella Company, 60% controlled by private equity investor KKR. Now headquartered in Switzerland, Wella Company owns the Wella brand itself, as well as Clairol, GHD, Sebastian Professional, Sassoon, OPI nailcare and others. Annie Young-Scrivner was recruited from Tiffany to be CEO.
Capsule checked 12th May 2021
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