Skin care start-up Drunk Elephant preparing for billion dollar sale

By Sarah Parsons | Published: 29-Jan-2019

The indie clean brand has been a hit in the US and recently expanded into the UK

Skin care start-up Drunk Elephant is reportedly exploring a sale that could value the brand at US$1bn.

According to The Wall Street Journal, sources revealed that, although the process is still in early days, the founder Tiffany Masterson is working with investment firm Financo and Moelis & Co to organise the deal.

Launched in 2014, the VMG Partners-backed Houston brand achieved $150m in sales last year.

The company specialises ‘clean skin care’ stripped from essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrance and SLS.

Drunk Elephant refers to the intoxicating-like effect that its hero ingredient, the marula tree, is said to have on elephants.

In September, Drunk Elephant expanded into the UK through a partnership with retailer Space NK.

However, the hit brand does not come without controversies. Last year L’Oréal sued Drunk Elephant for violation of a patent concerning L-Ascorbic Acid, a form of Vitamin C.

Meanwhile, in 2016, natural skin care manufacturer Green Heart Labs took Sephora and Drunk Elephant to court over trademark infringement, but the case was voluntarily dismissed by the complainant.

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