Pump Group Australia is thrilled to announce that it has acquired a substantial interest in The Department of Brands, a New Zealand based business with a portfolio of hair colour, haircare, and skincare brands. This follows an investment made in late 2020 in Pump Haircare from Anacacia Capital and Pump’s management team.
Bex Gold, founder, and creative power behind The Department of Brands business, first launched with a range of colourful semi-permanents under the Brite brand almost 10 years ago. Since then, The Department of Brands has expanded rapidly. Its products are now stocked in major retailers across the USA & UK including Target, Ulta, CVS, Walmart & Superdrug, as well as Priceline and Woolworths in the Australian market.
Renowned for product innovation and the ability to implement trends to market quickly, Bex is focused on providing customers with unique products underpinned by a strong brand ethos around vegan, clean and cruelty free formulations.
“The Department of Brands has always driven category innovation with strong retail partnerships: launching the first ‘zero waste’ hair care brand in Woolworths, the first premixed hair colour made from plants with Target and a hair lightening kit formulated for coily hair with Walmart,” said Gold who will continue to run the business and be a major shareholder.
“Bex and I share a passion for developing natural products that customers love and packaging them in an eco-friendly way. It’s awesome to have the opportunity to partner with a like-minded entrepreneurial woman who has also built a strong business from the ground up and with Anacacia's continued outstanding support,” said Natasha Jay, Founder and Executive Director of Pump Haircare.
COVID lockdowns have accelerated growing trends in at-home haircare and hair colouring. “People are having so much fun with their hair right now. Expressing themselves through hair colour when their faces are covered by masks. With the accessible price points, good formulas, and ease of use the colour category should hold onto its pandemic growth. With our rapid growth we were looking for a partner to support the brands evolution in a fully omnichannel business and Pump with Anacacia's backing Is an exceptional fit,” said Gold.
Pump CEO Stephen Warner, whose extensive FMCG experience includes holding the helm at Unilever’s Professional Haircare division in the Asia-Pacific, said “incremental growth in personal care - and haircare particularly – is coming from nimble, agile brand innovators who anticipate their consumer’s needs and innovate quickly with high differentiation and a strong ‘brand story’. The Pump and Department of Brands partnership brings together two strong teams in this space across omnichannel retail in several geographies and we are looking forward to accelerating the pace of our growth.”
Pump Group Australia is invested out of Anacacia's $300 million Anacacia Private Equity III fund and follows Anacacia’s prior successes with consumer and technology businesses including Rafferty’s Garden Baby Food, Yumi’s Quality Foods and Appen.
The transaction was supported by the Pump and The Department of Brands' management teams and Anacacia Capital and advised by Addisons, Chapman Tripp, Quigg Partners, EY and Marsh.
See also: Anacacia Capital, Pump Group Buy Stakes in Kiwi Haircare Brand, Bloomberg