The news broke, Shiseido is to acquire Drunk Elephant on a $845 million deal. While the brand’s founder Tiffany Masterson, will remain on board and promises consumers a seamless transition to the Japanese beauty conglomerate, the 100% part deal from Drunk Elephant was a shock to customers.
Drunk Elephant was founded in 2012 by Masterson, and has been one of the fastest-growing ‘clean’ beauty brands in the market. It gained traction as the skin-care and clean-beauty categories and skyrocketed its popularity during its tenure. There had been speculations to whether, Masterson would sell to one of the larger beauty corporations, with The Estée Lauder Companies because it was rumored to have been among interested parties.
The Shiseido’s acquisition of the brand marks one of the largest beauty deals of the year, second to L’Occitane’s $900 million deal with Elemis last January.
Masterson penned a note to Drunk Elephant fans and posted it to the brand’s Instagram feed, a platform where she often communicates directly with consumers. “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,” she wrote.
Drunk Elephant has always put his customers first, so it was no surprise the founder decided to communicate with them even whilst in the middle of her departure. She wrote: “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.”