Time isn't the only thing that is of the essence in the world of cosmetics. Cosmetic Essence is a contract manufacturer that specializes in the formulation, manufacturing, and filling of personal care products. Established in 1984, the company also offers packaging design and distribution services. Cosmetic Essence's product lines consist of color cosmetics, creams and lotions, perfumes, bath and hair care items, and household supplies. The beauty firm's customers include leading branded manufacturers and major retailers nationwide. In 2010, private equity firm Littlejohn & Co. and investment manager Garrison Investment Group became majority owners of Cosmetic Essence.
Out of the gate with new owners, Cosmetic Essence is looking for add-on acquisitions to grow its business. The company concentrates on research and development to provide new formulations and products to clients. During 2010, alone, Cosmetic Essence launched nearly 1,000 new product formulas. To its benefit, the beauty company is registered with the US Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter products.
A change of ownership for Cosmetic Essence in 2010 unleashed former owner Onex, a private investment firm, to invest in Las Vegas icon Tropicana at a time when the beauty business was not pretty. The cosmetics maker's profit margins had been dwindling for years, but sluggish sales in the US finally forced the company out of compliance with its debt covenants. Although Onex agreed to provide funding to Cosmetic Essence as it worked to restore earnings, the company's lenders could not agree to the terms of Onex's offer. As a result, Onex lost control of Cosmetic Essence and transferred ownership to its lenders, temporarily in 2009, until investors could be found. The lenders agreed to fund Cosmetic Essence's operations; Littlejohn & Co. and Garrison Investment Group picked up Cosmetic Essence, which was said to be generating about $300 million in revenues at the time.