VLCC to buy UAE grooming company for $32m
Dubai, February 2, 2010
VLCC, the Indian wellness chain, is planning to acquire UAE’s The Grooming Company (TGC) for Rs 150 crore ($32.4 million), according to a report.
VLCC operates only fitness centres, numbering 14, in the UAE. The beauty chain’s acquisition will help the company foray into the hair and nail treatment category in a key market — the Middle East contributes 40 per cent of overall revenues — where the grooming space is seeing an unprecedented boom, growing at over 12 per cent annually, said The Economic Times report.
The transaction will be funded through internal accruals and debt and will be done in phases, according to the report.
A VLCC spokesperson had no comment on the development while TGC executives could not be reached.
TGC, founded by Arabic investor Negin Fattahi Dasmal in the late 1990s, owns high-end brands such as N-Bar, 1847, JetSet, and Tilia & Finn. N-Bar is a chain of nail treatment salons while 1847 comprises grooming lounges for men. JetSet is ‘wash and blow dry’ hair-care concept and Tilia & Finn is a beauty lounge that combines grooming and beauty services under one roof.
These outlets have helped TGC to net annual revenues of around $40 million from the UAE cosmetics and personal care market, estimated to be worth over $1 billion and growing at over 20 per cent a year. TCG, which employs around 800 people, is spread across the UAE and Lebanon and will shortly launch in Kuwait and Qatar.
Research and advisory firm Ernst & Young is advising VLCC on the transaction, said the source.