Highlander Partners Announces the Acquisition of RMS Beauty, the Pioneer Brand of the Clean Beauty Movement
October 8, 2021 – Dallas, TX – Highlander Partners, L.P. (“Highlander”), a Dallas-based private investment firm, today announced the acquisition of RMS Beauty (“RMS”). RMS is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and is known as the original brand to drive the industry shift to clean beauty.
Rose-Marie Swift founded her eponymous brand in 2009. She is widely considered “The Godfather” of the clean beauty movement, given her 35+ year experience as a makeup artist and deep knowledge of the cosmetics industry. She has worked with supermodels including Gisele Bundchen, Miranda Kerr and Karolina Kurkova, and world-renowned photographers like Mario Sorrenti, Hedi Slimane, and Annie Leibovitz. Her outspoken nature, insights on the industry and candor with her clients and colleagues have earned her deep respect.
Rose-Marie founded the brand after experiencing severe health issues. In her healing process and intensive research, she discovered that some of the toxic chemicals and heavy metals in her system were also found in many commonly used beauty products. After rebuilding her own health, Rose-Marie realized she wanted to help other women claim their right to healthy, clean beauty and created the first-of-its-kind, truly organic color cosmetic line. RMS brings the energy of raw, food grade, organic, and natural ingredients with life force to your skin.
David Olsen, a Managing Director at Highlander, will immediately assume the role of CEO of RMS. David brings decades of beauty and digital retail leadership to RMS, with prior experience including CEO of luxury beauty retailer Cos Bar and Global VP of Net-A-Porter, where he launched the beauty business. David has a longstanding relationship with RMS and with Rose-Marie, and when he joined Highlander in 2019 to help source and assess investments in the beauty industry, RMS was the first call made.
David commented, “Like Rose-Marie herself, the RMS brand is unique. It was the prescient first-mover in clean beauty and continues to push the industry with its formulation standards. Yet it also creates the highest quality and most effective products, as you’d expect from a master makeup artist. With these attributes, RMS has an opportunity to scale considerably. We intend to revamp the brand, strengthen and expand RMS’ extensive retail relationships, drive the DTC business, and enhance and broaden the product assortment.”
Elaine Sack will move to the Chief Strategic Officer role and work hand-in-hand with Rose-Marie and David through the transition. Ben Slater, a Partner at Highlander, will serve as Chairman of the Board.
Rose-Marie noted, “I am beyond excited to partner with Highlander. Over the years, many firms have tried to invest in our brand, but we’ve been self-funded and profitable since day 1, and we were able to be patient and wait for the perfect fit. Highlander’s operational expertise and creative approach to investing are unique and unparalleled, and they believe in our core ethos. I look forward to a great partnership.”
Jeff L. Hull, President and CEO of Highlander Partners, added, “We have been exploring the beauty and personal care category in a meaningful way for the past two to three years. All of our efforts in assessing the beauty industry have led to an ideal investment with RMS. We believe RMS is the pioneer and leader in clean beauty and has significant growth opportunities, while also giving us optionality to create a larger clean beauty platform. It is our intention to continue to grow in this category through additional acquisitions.”
Katten served as legal counsel to Highlander. William Blair & Company, L.L.C. served as the exclusive financial advisor and Giannuzzi Lewendon served as legal counsel to RMS.
About RMS Beauty
Founded in 2009 by makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift, in Charleston, SC, RMS Beauty is a line of living-ingredient-based products that offer true artist-quality performance. The Company has been setting the standard for clean ingredients since its inception. Today, RMS Beauty is a leader in the clean beauty movement, with products distributed globally. For more information, visit www.rmsbeauty.com
About Highlander Partners, L.P.
Highlander Partners is a Dallas-based private investment firm that manages over $2 billion of its own proprietary capital. The firm focuses on making investments in businesses in targeted industries in which the principals of the firm have significant operating and investing experience. Highlander Partners employs a buy and build investment approach, creating value by helping companies grow both organically and through acquisitions. For more information, visit www.highlander-partners.com