The Mane Choice, a popular beauty brand for natural and curly hair types, was quietly acquired by MAV Beauty Brands late last year.
Like me, fans of The Mane Choice and its founder Courtney Adeleye were shocked–SHOCKED I tell you!–to see The Mane Choice on a viral meme under the listing of “Not Black-Owned” beauty brands this week. When I came across the meme this afternoon, I immediately thought it was a mistake and went to the comments. I felt momentarily reassured by the number of people who confirmed it was in fact an error until someone was like here sis, you dropped something, handed us receipts and then disappeared. The receipts, a report from Afotech back in March, linked to MAV’s Q3 results that details the acquisition.
The agreement, which occurred November 2019, came with a cash payout of $29M, equity consideration of $9M, and up to $52.5M in cash earnout payments over 3 years. Courtney will continue to lead the brand she created and has used the funds to create The Generational Advantage Fund in partnership with MAV. The fund commits $30M to providing financial literary programs to communities in need.
While the acquisition did not make the news until this past March, the launch of Courtney’s Generation Advantage Fund was covered by Black Enterprise and other media outlets. For The Mane Choice fans though, the news is very new and has many turning to both the brand and founder’s social media pages for confirmation. While Courtney stated that she will discuss the news in more detail on June 19th (Juneteeth) confirmation was shared yesterday on the brand’s Facebook page in a message to their community:
Thank you for your honest feedback. Recently we have noticed some media outlets & bloggers label our brand as 100% black owned. In full transparency, our amazing brand was founded by a phenomenal woman and is still currently being operated by a team of talented black women and men, but we want to make it clear that we are part of a public company, MAV Beauty Brands.
MAV Beauty Brands is a global personal care company dedicated to providing consumers with premium quality, authentic and differentiated products. Partnering with MAV allows us to share resources & infrastructure, which helps us to grow & reach more of our community.
Our brand was built with a beauty, health, science approach and we will continue to deliver the same premium quality products, innovative ingredients, and empowering beliefs of the brand founder. We always have and will continue to uplift, inspire, and support our community.
We value our customers and never take for granted that you have chosen to support our brand & the incredible people who are a part of it. Thank you for your continued support. We appreciate you.
Courtney follows in the footsteps of Richelieu Dennis, founder of Sundial Brands (maker of SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture and Nyakio), who sold the company to Unilever in 2017 and created the $100 million New Voices Fund which invests in businesses owned by women of color before he went on to purchase Essence magazine.
While acquisitions of Black-owned businesses are seen as a loss to the community and result in blow back from its customers Courtney and Richelieu have both ensured that these investments do more to support the growth of new Black businesses, successful entrepreneurs, and decrease the financial divide.
Founded in 2013 by Courtney Adeleye, The Mane Choice’s brand includes more than 100 SKUs consisting of shampoos, conditioners, hair growth vitamins, and other innovative treatments. In the 12-month period leading up to the acquisition The Mane Choice had net sales of approximately $24.4M.
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