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San Mateo, CA
SAN MATEO, CA, May 24, 2016 – Bertram Capital (“Bertram”) today announced it has completed a majority recapitalization of Paula’s Choice with TA Associates, a Boston based private equity firm. Paula's Choice was founded in 1995 by internationally renowned beauty and skincare expert, Paula Begoun, and has grown to be one of the largest beauty brands born online. The company’s website features extensive skincare advice utilized by more than 25 million unique visitors annually, and its line of skincare products is sought out by customers around the globe for their steadfast commitment to efficacy, fair value, and integrity. Bertram and the company’s founder will remain significant shareholders in the company.
Bertram Capital first invested in the company in November 2012 and quickly deployed its value creation strategy, the Bertram High 5SM. During Bertram’s three and a half years of ownership, Paula’s Choice tripled in revenue and transformed its approach to identifying, communicating with, and serving its customers. Bertram Labs, the firm’s proprietary software development and digital marketing team, partnered with the Paula’s Choice team to capitalize on the company’s e-commerce roots and cement its leadership online. Today, Paula’s Choice derives a majority of its sales directly from its own site, paulaschoice.com, while generating more than 90% of its website traffic from unpaid organic sources.
In addition, Bertram led the expansion of Paula’s Choice from a cult brand available only online into a thriving international and multi-channel operation. The company’s products are now sold in more than 25 countries and, in the United States, are prominently featured by top-tier retailers like Nordstrom and QVC.
“The Bertram consumer team, led by Ryan Craig and Tom Beerle, successfully executed our differentiated value creation strategy to build a true omnichannel retailer in just over three years,” said Jeff Drazan, Managing Partner. “By combining the vision of Paula Begoun, the innovation of our team of specialists at Bertram Labs, and the hard work of our management team, we succeeded in rapidly growing the business, the brand, and company value.”
“Our hats are off to the great team at Paula’s Choice, including Paula herself. Together, we’ve worked very hard to catapult this exceptional company into the position it finds itself today,” said Ryan Craig, Partner at Bertram Capital and investment lead for Paula’s Choice. “We would also like to recognize the teams at Piper Jaffray and Financo who provided exceptional leadership and advice in the process.”
In the consumer sector, Bertram has successfully built recognizable brands through digital commerce, frequently in partnership with company founders. Paula’s Choice represents Bertram Capital’s ability to help portfolio companies rapidly accelerate revenue and earnings growth by deploying best-of-breed e-commerce and digital marketing tactics that benefit both the company’s online and offline initiatives.
“Bertram Capital was the first outside investor we accepted for Paula’s Choice and they delivered on their promise of partnering with our team and bringing complementary resources to help us achieve the growth we always hoped was possible with the right leadership at the helm. Bertram showed us the way,” said Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice. “We look forward to continuing that path with TA Associates.”
About Bertram Capital
With over $850 million in committed capital, Bertram Capital is a private equity firm targeting investments in lower middle market companies. By supplying flexible investment capital and committing a wealth of operational and strategic resources to each investment, we make it our core objective to move companies, management teams, and employees toward unlocking their full potential. Visit www.bcap.com for more information.