Axcel invests in IsaDora, one of the Nordic region’s leading cosmetics brands with production and headquarters in Sweden, and additional production facilities in Switzerland and a presence in more than 40 markets. Owned and run by founder Ingvar Vigstrand and the family since 1983, it is a well-run business with considerable growth potential.
Axcel’s investment can be seen in the light of IsaDora having a very strong market position in Sweden and the other Nordic countries, and interesting potential for expansion elsewhere. The cosmetics market is stable and growing, driven by increased global demand.
“Ingvar Vigstrand has created a unique business packed with innovative and talented people,” says Vilhelm Sundström, the partner at Axcel responsible for the investment. “We see a large and expanding market with annual growth rates of up to 5% in the Nordic region, while markets such as the Middle East, Southern Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia all offer exciting opportunities and even higher growth rates. We also see large potential in the US, so we’re very much looking forward to working with IsaDora’s management on producing a more detailed roadmap.”
IsaDora has almost 200 employees working on development, production and marketing at both its headquarters in Malmö in Sweden and at the additional production facilities in Berne in Switzerland. The company distributes its products itself in Sweden and another six European countries, while other markets are served by external distributors.
“Since starting up in 1983, we’ve been on an amazing journey as a family-held business and become No. 1 in the Swedish market,” says IsaDora’s owner and CEO Ingvar Vigstrand. “It’s always going to be a big decision to sell your life’s work, but after lengthy discussions with Axcel we feel certain that we’ve found the right partner to take IsaDora to the next level.”
“IsaDora, which is an innovative make-up brand, is appreciated by its customers and has considerable potential for organic growth,” says Axcel’s Managing Partner Christian Schmidt-Jacobsen. “This is exactly the kind of business that we as a private equity firm are looking to work with, so I’m delighted to be able to announce this as our fifth fund’s third investment.”
The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. The transaction is conditional on approval from the competition authorities.
IsaDora is Swedish producer and distributor of cosmetics with production and headquarters in Malmö and additional production facilities in Berne in Switzerland. Its products for the eyes, face, lips and nails are sold by around 5,000 stores in 40 countries. The main markets are Sweden, the other Nordic countries, Germany and the Middle East. Products are sold directly to department stores, perfumeries, fashion outlets and online retailers in Sweden and another six European countries, and through distributors elsewhere. The business is owned by founder Ingvar Vigstrand and his family. Rasmus Helt Poulsen is responsible for its day-to-day operation as CEO.
Founded in 1994 by a group of Denmark’s largest financial and industrial institutions, Axcel is a Nordic private equity firm focusing on mid-market companies and has a broad base of both Danish and international investors. Axcel has raised five funds with total committed capital of around EUR 1.9 billion to date. These funds have made 47 platform investments, with more than 80 major add-on investments and 37 exits. Axcel currently owns 11 companies with combined annual revenue of around EUR 1.2 billion and some 6,000 employees
Managing Partner Christian Schmidt-Jacobsen