Welp, the writing was on the wall with this one, huh? When you all told me you planned to boycott SheaMoisture over their “inclusive” ad posted earlier this year (read about that HERE), I didn’t want to join in. I wanted to believe that it was indeed an honest mistake that they would rectIfy in the years to come. But alas, y’all were right. Sheamoisture is no longer a black-0wned company, officially:
According to Bloomberg.com:
Unilever, the maker of Dove soap and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, is acquiring Sundial Brands to expand its offering of hair- and skin-care products aimed at black women.
New York-based Sundial, founded in 1991 by Liberian immigrants, makes brands such as SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker and Nyakio. While terms of the transaction were not disclosed, Sundial Brands expects revenue this year of about $240 million, Unilever said in a statement Monday.
The takeover follows Unilever’s investment earlier this year in Beauty Bakerie, a cosmetics maker based in San Diego that’s backed by Lazard Managing Director William Lewis and American Express Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Chenault.
Businesses such as Sundial Brands and Beauty Bakerie have garnered a following among young Africans, African-American and other black women, whose spending power is being increasingly targeted by consumer giants. L’Oreal, for example, has built a hair-care research center in Johannesburg to increase sales on the African continent. Last month, French luxury-goods maker LVMH beat estimates for third-quarter sales in part on the strength of Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, a new makeup line developed with the Barbadian pop singer.
As part of the agreement announced Monday, Unilever and Sundial are creating the New Voices Fund with an initial investment of $50 million to “empower women of color entrepreneurs.”
Sundial will operate as a standalone business and continue to be led by Chief Executive Officer Richelieu Dennis, Unilever said.
While, I, of course, love to see a black-owned company win without white dollars, in business, the end game is often to be bought out. Who wants to work forever? Not me. That being said, it stings a little, when companies we have supported from the onset seemingly turn their backs on the black collective. I’m sure Sheamoisture will continue to have initiatives set up to help black women and black entrepreneurs, which is nice, but I still feel as though we’ve been lied to.