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“They Hired Vennette”

Vennette Ho
Within the beauty industry, Ho has become the unrivaled banker du jour: She knows what strategic buyers are into, or not into, with unusual acumen. Photo: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Financo
Rachel Strugatz
May 1, 2024

Are there any major indie beauty brands that haven’t engaged a banker to explore a potential sale? Rare Beauty, Summer Fridays, Merit, and Glossier are all in various stages of deal heat, as I’ve reported over the past month, following a surge of interest from strategic buyers looking to double down in a fast-growing category. Sarah Gibson Tuttle’s 4-year-old Olive & June, which does $90 million a year in a stacked nail category dominated by Sally Hansen and others, has hired Raymond James’s Vennette Ho, the industry’s favorite M&A banker. (Tuttle and Ho declined to comment.)

Olive & June, which sells cheap-ish polish and press-ons at Target and Walmart, has attracted less attention in the industry than Summer Fridays, a bestseller at Sephora. But Tuttle’s business, which generates similar revenue at a much lower price point (around $9 per bottle of polish), is arguably as impressive. At the outset, Tuttle wanted to create the next Essie—and, these days, Olive & June’s sales are bigger than Essie’s at Target, according to IRI data. Olive & June’s “It Ends With Us” polishes—a savvy collaboration with author Colleen Hoover, whose wildly popular yet trashy beach reads outsold the Bible in 2022also led to record sales earlier this year.