Feb. 2023
Yellow Wood Partners to acquire Unilever’s beauty and personal care brand Suave in North America

BOSTON, Feb. 14, 2023 -- Yellow Wood Partners LLC ("Yellow Wood"), a Boston-based private equity firm focused on investing in consumer brands and companies, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Unilever (NYSE: UL) to acquire its beauty and personal care brand, Suave, in North America. The transaction is anticipated to be completed in the second quarter of 2023.

Dana Schmaltz, Partner of Yellow Wood Partners, said, "We are excited to have created a strong working relationship with Unilever in this transaction. Yellow Wood's intense focus on investing in and operating consumer brands led us to purchase the iconic Suave brand in North America from Unilever. Suave is ubiquitously recognized for its long history of providing accessible high-quality beauty products to American consumers dating to the 1930s and we are excited to add it to our portfolio of investments. We especially want to thank Unilever for their collaboration as we move forward to completing this carveout. We believe our extensive experience with divestitures of large and small brands from multi-national consumer branded companies such as Bayer and Reckitt will help us successfully transition and grow Suave as a focused brand in the Yellow Wood portfolio."

Suave was one of the first brands in the 1930s to bring salon-quality hair care to the general public.  The Suave brand sells products for women, men and kids in mass retailers and ecommerce platforms.  The brand's products include hair and body products including shampoos, conditioners, treatments and serums, styling products, body wash, antiperspirants and deodorants, and skin care.

Tad Yanagi, Partner of Yellow Wood Partners, commented, "We look forward to bringing a significantly increased level of brand investment as well as operational focus to leverage Suave's high brand recognition and value proposition to major retailers and consumers in North America. Working with Unilever allowed us to formulate a transition plan to build a more focused stand-alone company as we have done in the past with other carve outs from multinational CPG companies. Our Consumer Operating DNA strategy allowed us to develop a sourcing and distribution network which we believe will deliver exceptional customer experience. We look forward to working with our retail and ecommerce partners in an effort to drive the growth of the brand through continued strong product innovation and build on the success of the Suave brand that consumers have loved for over 85 years."

Yellow Wood's diverse family of consumer brands include leading global footcare brand Dr. Scholl's and Scholl International; Beacon Wellness Brands, led by its anchor brand PlusOne®, the #1 sexual wellness device brand; beauty brands Real Techniques and EcoTools; self-tanning brands Isle of Paradise, Tanologist and TanLuxe; and skincare brands Freeman Beauty and the recently launched Byoma.

Houlihan Lokey acted as financial advisor to Yellow Wood on the transaction. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP provided legal counsel to Yellow Wood.

About Yellow Wood Partners

Yellow Wood Partners is a Boston-based private investment firm that invests exclusively in the consumer industry in the middle market. The firm seeks to acquire branded consumer products that sell into a variety of consumer channels, including mass, drug, food, specialty, value, club and e-commerce. Yellow Wood's Consumer Operating DNA investment and operating strategy is based on utilizing the firm's functional operating resources to help maximize brand performance by driving organic growth and increasing operating efficiencies while acquiring additional brands into a limited number of platform companies in its concentrated investment portfolio. For more information, please visit

Chris Tofalli
Chris Tofalli Public Relations, LLC

Disclaimer: This does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security of the funds managed by Yellow Wood Partners, in any state or jurisdiction. An offering may only be made by means of a final offering memorandum in those jurisdictions where permitted by law and only to investors meeting eligibility requirements. The past performance of the investment team should not be construed as an indicator of future performance.