Rose Inc and JVN’s parent company Amyris files for bankruptcy

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 11-Aug-2023

The biotechnology ingredients supplier has started voluntary proceedings and is looking to off-load its consumer arm

Amyris, the ingredients supplier-turned-cosmetics brand owner, has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The parent company of beauty brands Rose Inc and Jonathan Van Ness' JVN Hair filed the proceedings in the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

It has secured a commitment from existing lender Foris Ventures for US$190m of debtor-in-possession financing to support continued day-to-day operations. 

The court documents state that Amyris debt totals $1.3bn.

Amyris is planning to exit its consumer brands and will begin marketing them for sale. 

Brands in its portfolio include ‘clean’ skin care Biossance, Naomi Watts’ menopausal beauty company Stripes and supplement range Menolabs.

Hand sanitiser business Olika and natural skin care line Terasana, as well as hair care brand JVN and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s cosmetics line Rose Inc will also be up for sale. 

As the sale process progresses, Amyris will continue to operate its brands through retail partners and e-commerce platforms.

Amyris’ most recent financial results revealed that its core revenue was down 3% compared to the same period last year, while consumer revenue decreased 1%. 

The bankruptcy news comes after Amyris' CEO John Melo stepped down and the biotechnology ingredients supplier started job cuts as it looked to save $250m. 

"Over the past months, we have been hard at work on a strategic transformation plan to reduce costs, improve operational effectiveness and achieve sustainable growth,” said Han Kieftenbeld, Interim CEO and CFO of Amyris.  

“We believe the step forward our company has taken today [9 August] puts us on the best path to address our financial challenges and achieve a comprehensive solution.

“Rooted in Amyris' groundbreaking science, formulation capabilities and technology."  

Amyris specialises in synthetic renewable ingredients for the beauty and food industries.

It is best-known for its sugar cane-derived squalane, which has now been licensed to Givaudan

The company also specialises in celebrity-fronted brands after venturing into brand ownership in 2015. 

Brands in Amyris' portfolio include ‘clean’ skin care Biossance

Brands in Amyris' portfolio include ‘clean’ skin care Biossance

Alongside the Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Amyris has filed a series of customary motions with the court.

It is seeking to continue operating as usual and uphold its commitments to employees and “other valued stakeholders” during the process. 

These ‘first day’ motions include requests to continue to pay wages and provide benefits to employees as usual and maintain its customer programmes and policies. 

It also intends to pay vendors in the ordinary course for all goods received and services rendered after the filing.

“At the end of this restructuring process, we believe that Amyris will emerge as a financially stronger company with a more focused business model and well-defined path to profitability,” commented Kieftenbeld. 

“In turn, we will be poised to grow sustainably alongside our valued partners and make an even greater impact on our world through clean chemistry."

It has been a tough time for the beauty industry, with several brands trying to navigate the difficult economic climate.

Beauty vlogger Jaclyn Hill said the future of her make-up line Jaclyn Cosmetics is uncertain as she announced the closure of her jewellery and apparel brands. 

However, despite falling into administration last year, cosmetics giant Revlon officially exited bankruptcy in May and is said to be on “strong financial footing”.

Forma Brands, the US cosmetics company which owns Morphe, was also acquired by lenders and additional investors in April.

This was just three months after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

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