Beauty and fragrance company The Six Senses, co-founded by Theresa Gattung, Donna Fyfe and Miranda Waple, has merged with a similar Australian business.
The acquisition, which saw no money change hands, has seen Westmere-based The Six Senses and Pure Beauty Australia merge to form The Six Senses Group.
The original founders of The Six Senses now own 50 per cent of the merged group along with Paul Constantinou, Rohan Davis and Joseph Rodriquez, the founders of Pure Beauty Australia, which has been renamed to The Six Senses Australia.
The merger was finalised on September 1 and progress began in February before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.
Miranda Waple, chief executive and founding director of The Six Senses Group - which found its feet creating Karen Walker Fragrance in 2013 - said the merger between Pure Beauty Australia and The Six Senses was organic.
Waple was working with the company as a consultant, and later became chief executive of the skincare business, two years ago. When she became CEO in September 2019, she was commuting to Australia for one week each month.
She hasn't been back to Australia since March due to travel restrictions.
"Seeing all the synergies between [the two companies] we started discussing how it would be more cost-effective and give us much more scope for growth if we combined the two businesses and had the team working on cross-border projects," Waple told the Herald.
She said the pandemic was not likely to have a significant negative impact on her business, comparing it to trends around the "Lipstick recession" in World War II where the sales of lipstick increased actually increased despite the economic downturn.
"In these times of uncertainty, people need products that are going to make them feel good and with this merger we are actually able to provide those to a much wider audience - it's a really good time."
Waple, who was previously based in Paris working for L'Oreal in both Paris and New Zealand for 17 years, said the business was experiencing "double-digit growth" and looking to expand into new geographical markets, including Singapore and other Asian markets.
Waple convinced Kiwi fashion designer Karen Walker to create a namesake range of fragrances under her brand - it took a year, she said.
The group owns the licences for Karen Walker Fragrances, owns skincare brands Handsome Men's Skincare and Blessed by Nature, and is a sales agent for Ethique and Evolu.
The merger meant the business would also be able to take its New Zealand brands to Australia. By the end of next year, it hopes to have added two or three new markets to its operations.
Melbourne-based Pure Beauty was owned by investment company C&D Capital, the private investment fund of Paul Constantinou and Rohan Davis. C&D Capital managing director Joseph Rodriquez said the merger marked an "exciting juncture" for both of the businesses.
"We believe the innovative culture and the great people behind it will lead this business to the next phase of growth. We are proud of the brands and with Miranda at the helm, we see huge opportunity to grow a global beauty business from Australasia."
Waple said the business would not be looking for outside capital and would be self-funded.
"It's a really exciting stage for us because we've been a small New Zealand company for seven years and now we've merged with a strong Australia company, joined 50/50, and I am really excited to see what we can do over the next six to 12 months."