Kylie Jenner stunned fans and the business world alike on Monday when news broke that she sold off a $600 million majority stake in her industry-rocking brand, Kylie Cosmetics.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that Coty Inc. is paying the nine-figure sum for the controlling stake of the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" founder's beauty business, giving the fragrance and cosmetics company a 51% stake in Kylie Cosmetics. The deal, which will keep Kylie on as the face of the brand, values Kylie Cosmetics at about $1.2 billion.
Jenner founded the business, originally named Kylie Lip Kits, back in 2015 when she was just 18 years old. In its first 18 months, the company (later renamed Kylie Cosmetics) generated $420 million in revenue as legacy beauty brands struggled to keep up sales. In November 2018, Ulta started carrying Kylie's products in its 1,100 stores.
WSJ reports that in the Coty deal, Kylie Cosmetics will once again be renamed to Kylie Beauty (the company now encompasses a wide-range of beauty and skincare products).
Upon news breaking about Kylie's unexpected business deal, fans on Twitter called it a "brilliant move" and "super smart," while other social media users wondered why she was making such a move. One user provided a likely theory behind the move: "Reason for sale, to allow her to focus on creative direction while the acquiring company, Coty Ltd handles the scaling."
So #KylieJenner just sold 51% stake in her cosmetics company for US$600mn!!! Reason for sale, to allow her to focus on creative direction while the acquiring company, Coty Ltd handles the scaling! Yum yum piece of business there!
— Noah Akala, MD (@OduwoNoahAkala) November 18, 2019
Part of what has fueled Jenner's sales, especially in the beginning, were unannounced drops of new product on the brand's website, as well as frequent collaboration collections with her famous sisters Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian.
In the wake of Kylie Jenner's industry-rocking brand launch in 2015, many other stars have followed suit with their own namesake beauty brands: Kim Kardashian has KKW Beauty, Lady Gaga has Haus Labs, Rihanna has Fenty Beauty and "Stranger Things" actress Millie Bobby Brown has Florence, among others.
The Coty deal comes about eight months after Forbes made waves by proclaiming that Kylie Jenner was, at the age of 21, America's youngest self-made billionaire ever.