Nutrafol Unilever

Nutrafol will continue to be led by CEO Giorgos Tsetis and be based in New York

Unilever has continued to expand its focus on the health and wellness category with the acquisition of US hair loss supplement maker Nutrafol for an undisclosed sum.

The consumer products group already holds a 13.2% stake in the business through its VC arm Unilever Ventures, but the agreed deal will see it take a majority holding from PE firm L Catterton.

Nutrafol, which sells a range of supplements designed to address thinning hair for men and women, will operate as part of Unilever’s health and wellbeing unit.

Unilever has made a string of small acquisitions in the vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) market since Alan Jope joined as CEO, including US-based Olly Nutrition, SmartyPants Vitamins and Onnit, purchased in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Jope has focused on selling off low-growth assets, such as its spreads and tea businesses, and building exposure to high-growth categories in hygiene, prestige beauty and functional nutrition.

However, his attempts at larger deals in the sector have failed, most notably with the aborted £50bn pursuit of GlaxoSmithKline’s consumer health division.

Fernando Fernandez, president of beauty and wellbeing at Unilever, said: “Nutrafol and its holistic approach to hair health is the perfect complement to our growing portfolio of innovative wellness and supplements brands.

I am confident that with the full support of Unilever behind Nutrafol, [co-founder and CEO] Giorgos [Tsetis] and the team will continue to take this fast-growing business to even greater heights.”

The group added that Nutrafol was well-positioned to build on its ecommerce success and to grow its multichannel presence, including the network of more than 3,000 physicians currently selling the product.

Tsetis said: “Joining forces with a leading global organization like Unilever, and all the resources and scale that comes with that, is the natural evolution in our mission to help people grow into their best selves through whole body health.”

Nutrafol will continue to be based in New York following the deal.

Jefferies acted as exclusive financial advisor to Nutrafol.