Mid-market TriSpan buys sk:n

sk:n plans to continue growth strategy under ownership of TriSpan

Graphite Capital has sold cosmetic and skincare specialist sk:n to fellow private equity player TriSpan for an undisclosed sum.

It is thought that the mid-market private equity firm, which was advised by global investment bank Alantra, had been looking to exit the business for more than a year.

Graphite acquired the Birmingham-based business in 2006, introducing an experienced buy-in management team early on to embark on rapid expansion. Since then, it has grown the portfolio from 17 to over 50 clinics and strengthened the sk:n brand with the launch of its own-label skincare range.

The company reported a 10% jump in turnover to £29.2m in the year ended 31 December 2017 as it continued the roll out of new sites. It also reversed a number of loss-making years after a £3.3m claim against HMRC regarding medical exemption for VAT boosted operating profit to £4.4m.

CEO Darren Grassby and CFO Simon Hope will remain in post and said the company plans to pursue an ambitious growth strategy with the backing of TriSpan.

Grassby said: ‘sk:n is an ambitious brand with exciting plans to grow over the coming years and in TriSpan, Alantra identified a strategic approach that is a perfect fit for our business.  We are very excited to take sk:n to the next level and confident that the combination of our highly-experienced team with TriSpan’s experience in rollouts, its network and international exposure will enable us to propel the business forward.’

Director at Alantra Bobby Fletcher, who along with Steve Currie, Chris Bates and Justin Crowther advised Graphite and sk:n, said: ‘sk:n is now poised to take advantage of the opportunity of working with a new private equity funder that intends to significantly increase its UK footprint whilst exploring international clinic expansion. TriSpan immediately recognised the latent opportunity around increased skincare product distribution through its clinics and online, and they will bring additional, complementary expertise to the existing high-quality management team. We are very pleased to have delivered such a result for our client in a challenging consumer environment and against the current political backdrop.’