Australia: Bain-led consortium walks away from $576m bid for haircare firm BWX

BWX
Sukin, a brand owned by BWX.

Private equity firm Bain Capital has abandoned its plan to bid for Australian haircare and skincare manufacturer BWX for A$803 million ($576 million), the company said in a stock filing on September 17.

According to BWX, the Bain-led consortium had failed to submit a binding proposal and withdrew its indicative proposal for the deal. In May, BWX announced that it had received an unsolicited takeover proposal from two senior company officers – John Humble and Aaron Finlay, in partnership with Bain, with an offer for A$6.60 per share in cash.

An independent board committee (IBC) had been established since then to assess the offer through a strategic review.

“A substantial amount of time and resources have been committed by the IBC, management, our advisers and the Bain consortium. Nevertheless, in the absence of a binding proposal, it is clear that we have reached a point where management’s time is better spent focusing on the substantial growth opportunities available to the company. The process of exploring the potential for a change-of-control proposal also provided an opportunity to validate our existing strategy and identified new growth opportunities that had not previously been explored,” said BWX chairman, Ian Campbell.

In addition, BWX has also announced a management change where interim CEO Myles Anceschi has been appointed the permanent CEO, who was instrumental in leading BWX throughout the strategic review. Anceschi will also join BWX board of directors as the managing director.

Both Humble and Finlay have agreed to resign from their executive and board roles. Humble served as managing director and CEO while Finlay served as finance director and joint company secretary.

During the course of the strategic review, BWX said a number of parties approached the company with joint venture, distribution and licensing proposals that have the potential to accelerate the growth of BWX’s brands in international market.

“BWX will continue to explore these partnering opportunities, and may selectively pursue opportunities to maximise shareholder value,” it said.

BWX added that its major shareholder has confirmed its support for the outcome of the strategic review.

“The culmination of the strategic review represents a clean break for the company, and we provide our full support to the IBC, Myles (Anceschi) and his management team in driving the future growth of the business,” said Bennelong Australian Equity Partners chief investment officer, Mark East.

ASX-listed BWX is a vertically integrated developer, manufacturer, distributor and marketer of branded skin and hair care products with an emphasis on the natural segment of the beauty and personal care market.

The company owns, produces, and distributes under the Sukin, Mineral Fusion, Andalou Naturals, DermaSukin, Life Basics, Uspa, Edward Beale, and Renew personal care brands as well as Nourished Life online marketplace.

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