Shiseido acquires Drunk Elephant for $845 million

Following months of speculation, Shiseido has acquired Drunk Elephant for a cool $845 million USD. Beating Estée Lauder, the deal is in line with Shiseido’s mission to dominate the Gen Z category. Drunk Elephant will join Shiseido Group’s already sweeping millennial orientated portfolio, which includes Nars, Bareminerals, Laura Mercier and its capsule Shiseido collections Ibuki and Waso.

In a release issued to WWD, Shiseido said, "Drunk Elephant will be able to leverage Shiseido’s global platform and resources to expand into new and existing markets both in the Americas and internationally including Europe and Asia. Shiseido’s Global Innovation Center and Digital Center of Excellence will provide a wealth of expertise and a unique support network, maximizing Drunk Elephant’s opportunities for growth and development across all channels."

Founded in 2012, Drunk Elephant is expected to close the next financial year with net sales of $125 million USD.

Drunk Elephant founder and chief creative officer Tiffany Masterson posted a statement on the brand's Instagram to clarify the acquisition:

"So…some great news! I’ve decided to partner with Shiseido. I couldn’t be more excited that we’ve found someone who respects my vision and the brand identity and is willing to let us stay who we are. Shiseido is a really beautiful company with a beautiful culture. I know what you’re wondering because I am a consumer and I always think/wonder the same things when brands I love are acquired. I want to reassure you. The formulations won’t be changing. I’ll remain in my same role. My same incredible and lovable entire team will stay with me. If it wasn’t announced, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference; that’s our main goal. Our prices will not be increased. And we’ll remain cruelty-free. I wouldn’t have signed on for this unless both parties could agree. Fortunately, we wanted the same things; we share like values. I feel so honored to join this global powerhouse."

"The best part, in my opinion, is that we’ll be able to act more quickly to accomplish a few things that you all have told us are very important to you and are also important to us: 1. Attain sustainability across the brand. 2. Get to the markets who have been requesting the products. 3. Share our philosophy in a louder way, spreading awareness so that we can hopefully help more people reconnect with their skin all over the world. 4. Ignite our anti-bullying campaign on a bigger stage. We are feeling excited and positive and a little overwhelmed (in a great way)! As always feel free to ask any questions you may have or share any concerns."

As confirmed both by Masterson's Instagram post and reporting from WWD, she will remain the company's chief creative officer while assuming the role of president reporting to Shiseido Chief Growth Officer and CEO.