Olaplex Holdings Inc. (OLPX) is a scientifically driven beauty company primarily focused on manufacturing luxury hair care products for the professional hair care industry. The company’s portfolio includes products for both professional and home use, including shampoos, conditioners, and bond multipliers. The company has 100 patents. Its products are based on scientifically supported designs aimed at treating damaged hair.

Olaplex went public on the Nasdaq on Sept. 30, 2021 at $21 a share, significantly above its original range of $17–$19. The offering sold a total of 73.7 million shares, up from an initial 67 million, after a greenshoe option was exercised. The initial public offering (IPO) raised more than $1.5 billion for shareholders. The stock ended the week at $23.73 a share, giving it a valuation of more than $15 billion.

Olaplex originally filed for an IPO for shares of common stock held by its two institutional shareholders on Aug. 27, 2021.

Investment funds affiliated with private equity firm Advent International, which acquired Olaplex in January 2020, own approximately 78.9% of the combined voting power of Olaplex’s common stock. This makes Olaplex a “controlled company,” which will be exempt from certain corporate governance requirements, such as the requirement to have an independent board of directors or independent compensation committee.

Key Takeaways

  • Olaplex is a luxury hair care company specializing in the provision of professional hair care products.
  • Olaplex went public on the Nasdaq under the ticker OLPX for $21 a share on Sept. 30, 2021.
  • The company’s two institutional shareholders sold a combined 73.7 million shares.
  • Olaplex’s valuation after its initial public offering (IPO) stood at more than $15 billion on Oct. 1, 2021.
  • The company generated net income of $49.4 million on $152.1 million in net sales during its most recent quarter ended June 30, 2021.

Olaplex was founded by its former chief executive officer (CEO), Dean Christal. Christal’s mother worked as a licensed hairdresser and operated a home-based salon, and his father owned 26 beauty distribution stores, providing their son with a deep understanding of the hair care business. Christal went on to launch Olaplex in 2014, beginning with a line of just three products sold exclusively to hair care professionals. The company’s bond-multiplying technology was a novel innovation in the industry, enabling hairdressers to repair damaged hair and improve hair care services offered to their clientele.

Since the initial launch, Olaplex has further developed its product line, now offering a suite of 11 different hair care products through professional, specialty retail, and direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels. The company’s focus is offering science-based products that address the treatment, maintenance, and protection of hair. Its product portfolio, supported by scores of patents, creates barriers to entry for competitors in the hair care business and related industries.

Olaplex is currently led by CEO and President JuE Wong. Wong, who has extensive experience in the beauty and consumer industries, was named CEO in January 2020. She has expertise in managing fast-growing businesses. Tiffany Walden is the chief operating officer (COO), chief legal officer, and secretary, and Eric Tiziani is the chief financial officer (CFO).

Olaplex Financials

Olaplex provided recent financial results in its second amendment to its S-1 registration form. For the quarter ended June 30, 2021, the company’s net income rose nearly 25 times, to $49.4 million, compared to the same period a year ago. Net sales increased 175.3% year over year (YOY) to $152.1 million. For all of 2020, net income sank 35.5% despite revenue growth of 90.4%. Large interest expenses hurt Olaplex’s earnings.

The company’s operations and financial results were also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak of the coronavirus in early 2020 disrupted Olaplex’s retail stores, hair salons, manufacturing, and distribution. Many salons were required to close or operate at reduced capacity, which triggered a shift in demand from the company’s professional sales channel to its specialty retail and DTC channels. Olaplex said it has not experienced a decline in demand from DTC channels even as restrictions have eased and salons have begun returning to more normal capacity.

Olaplex’s total book value, the difference between its assets and liabilities, was $627.4 million as of June 30, 2021. Total cash and cash equivalents on the company’s balance sheet at the end of the period were $76.4 million, up nearly seven times compared to the end of 2020.

Olaplex Key Financials
  Q2 FY 2021 Q2 FY 2020
Net Sales ($M) 152.1 55.3
Net Income ($M) 49.4 2.0

Source: Amendment No. 2 to Form S-1 Registration Statement for Olaplex Holdings Inc.

How Much Is Olaplex Worth?

In June 2021, Bloomberg reported that Advent was exploring options to sell Olaplex and was targeting a valuation of at least $1.5 billion. Advent finalized its ownership of Olaplex in early 2020, but the financial details of that transaction were not disclosed. Advent owns 89.3% of Olaplex’s outstanding shares. The other institutional shareholder, private equity firm Mousse Partners, owns 6.8%.

After its IPO, Olaplex’s valuation stands at just over $15 billion as of Oct. 1, 2021.

Olaplex Key Competitors

The size of the global hair care market is expected to grow from an estimated $92.5 billion in 2020 to $105.1 billion in 2025. Olaplex faces a number of big rivals, including France-based L’Oréal S.A. (OR.PA), U.K.-based Unilever PLC (ULVR), Germany-based Henkel AG & Co. KGaA (HEN3), and Japan-based Kao Corp. (KAO). Olaplex also competes with smaller, independent brands, and some of the company’s competitors have ownership interests in retailers that are its customers.

The Bottom Line

Luxury hair care company Olaplex went public on the Nasdaq on Sept. 30, 2021. Its IPO price was $21, significantly above the expected $17–$19 range, and as of Oct. 1, 2021, its valuation stands at more than $15 billion.