Japan-Based Shiseido Acquires Clean Beauty Brand Drunk Elephant For $845 Million

Since its inception in 2012, millennial-favored clean beauty brand Drunk Elephant quickly rose in the ranks in popularity among its demographics. This week, it was acquired by Japanese beauty conglomerate Shiseido for an estimated $845 million, in an effort for Shiseido to increase its global visibility.

drunk elephantPhoto Credit: instagram.com/drunkelephant

Drunk Elephant—founded by Tiffany Masterson—was one of the trailblazers in the Millennial/Gen Z-targeted "clean beauty" movement, with its super cute packaging, brand messaging and results-driven formulas. None of its products includes essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical sunscreens, fragrances/dyes or SLS—what the brand calls "the Suspicious 6." It also indirectly encouraged the self-love movement among its customers with its #barewithus🐘 Instagram movement, showcasing bare-faced selfies of Drunk Elephant success stories. Insiders were speaking of a possible acquisition since earlier this year, but the deal was formalized just a few days ago.


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So…some great news! I’ve decided to partner with Shiseido. 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. Shiseido is a really beautiful company with a beautiful culture. 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. Fortunately, we wanted the same things; we share like values. I feel so honored to join this global powerhouse. The best part in my opinion is that we’ll be able to act more quickly to accomplish a few things that you all have told us are very important to you and are also important to us: 1. Attain sustainability across the brand. 2. Get to the markets who have been requesting the products. 3. Share our philosophy in a louder way, spreading awareness so that we can hopefully help more people reconnect with their skin all over the world. 4. Ignite our anti-bullying campaign on a bigger stage. We are feeling excited and positive and a little overwhelmed (in a great way)! As always feel free to ask any questions you may have or share any concerns. 💚 Finally, we’d like to celebrate by sending out a cozy token of our gratitude to some of our followers. This community has been the most loving, kind, supportive, inquisitive and lovely community I could ever have dreamt of and I will be forever grateful! Please share below something you’ve loved about Drunk Elephant, and that you agree should never change! We’ll choose 100 and notify you on the DM. With love and gratitude 💚💚💚TM

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In a social media post on the company's Instagram page, Masterson assured her followers that "the formulations won't be changing...prices will not be increased...and [they'll] remain cruelty-free."