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Dublin headquartered Broadlake sells its majority stake in Irish skincare company Vita Liberata

This transaction marks Broadlake’s second exit in as many months following the €68m sale of Merlyn Industries to Norcros Plc in November 2017.

January 5th 2018 – Vita Liberata, the international skincare and self-tan brand, has been acquired by US based Crown Laboratories Inc., a fully-integrated specialty pharmaceutical company focused in dermatology with the backing of New York private investment firm Hildred Capital Partners.

Broadlake is a private investment company that typically invests €2-10m in established and growing businesses. Broadlake invested in Vita Liberata in 2012 to accelerate the international growth of the business, supporting its successful expansion into the North American market.

“We backed an ambitious team in 2012 and over the last five years have supported them during a period of phenomenal growth.  Over this time the company has successfully developed its product ranges, brands, channels and international reach.  We view Crown as an ideal partner to support the company on the next stage of its growth and development.  We wish the Vita Liberata team every success in the future,” said Pete Smyth, Broadlake Founder and Chief Executive.

Founded in 2003 by EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist Alyson Hogg, Vita Liberata was the first completely non-toxic tanning brand, with a collection of odourless products free from parabens, perfume and alcohol.  Vita Liberata products employ the company’s proprietary Advoganic™ Technology, which combines cutting edge skin chemistry with highly potent organic botanicals. The technology fully releases the premium ingredients’ potential, enabling skincare benefits that are superior to those found in formulas using traditional cosmetic chemicals.

The brand has a powerful celebrity fanbase which include Hollywood icons Emma Watson, Sofia Vergara and Alicia Keys. Vita Liberata’s award-winning collection is sold in premium retailers across the US and Europe, and it is the self-tanner of choice for the world’s top spas including George V Paris, St Regis, Viceroy, Ritz-Carlton and Burj Al Arab.  Ms. Hogg will stay on as President of Consumer Brands for Crown Laboratories.

“Crown and Hildred have a genuine understanding of the suncare market and a very impressive vision for the Vita Liberata brand. We are thrilled to partner with them to leverage Crown’s strong positioning within the dermatology space and advance our mission of making self-tanning a viable alternative to sun exposure for all,” said Alyson Hogg.

“We believe the Vita Liberata product line and its strength in premium retail is a terrific complement to Crown’s Blue Lizard sunscreen brand and builds on Crown’s consumer healthcare products strategy in the dermatology space,” said Jeff Bedard, Crown Laboratories President and CEO. “Alyson and her entire team have done a remarkable job disrupting the self-tanning space, and we look forward to welcoming them to the Crown family. We will work together to continue to provide high-quality products that are at the forefront of skincare innovation.”

“Hildred’s goal for Crown is to build value by providing the company with the flexibility needed to foster organic growth,” said Hildred Partner, David Solomon. “With a distinctive portfolio and an impressive track record of growth, Vita Liberata is a very exciting opportunity and a natural fit with Crown.”


Los Angeles and New York based investment bank, The Sage Group LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Broadlake and Vita Liberata, Tughans served as legal advisors, and EY served as due diligence and tax advisors.

Centerview Partners served as financial advisor to Crown Laboratories, and Lowenstein Sandler and A&L Goodbody served as its legal advisors.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


About Broadlake

Broadlake is a Dublin headquartered private investment company that typically invests €2-10m in established and growing businesses. The Broadlake Team is focused on working with Entrepreneurs where the opportunity exists to help them significantly scale their businesses. Broadlake’s current portfolio includes 2468 Group the acquisitive Office Services business, TTM the International Healthcare Recruitment & Services company and Conveyortek the Northern Irish based Engineering company.


Twitter:                @wearebroadlake @broadlakepete



About Crown Laboratories, Inc.

Crown Laboratories, Inc. is a privately held, fully integrated, specialty pharmaceutical company, focused in dermatology, and committed to developing and providing a diverse portfolio of pharmaceutical and consumer products, which improve the quality of life for its customers. Crown Laboratories is an innovative company, whose Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen and robust portfolio of dermatological products have paved the way for Crown Laboratories’ rapid growth. Crown Laboratories’ prescription portfolio includes key branded products AlaScalp, AlaQuin, Daxbia and Dermasorb HC & TA Kits. For more information about Crown Laboratories or its products, visit



About Hildred Capital Partners

Hildred Capital Partners, LLC is a private investment firm that invests in a broad range of securities, including equity and debt, across geographies and sectors, on both an actively and passively managed basis. Founded in 2014, Hildred has a particular interest in private equity, including situations where the principals can apply their extensive management experience to help a company reach its full potential. Hildred is headed by Howard Solomon, former CEO of Forest Laboratories, and David Solomon, former Senior Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategic Planning at Forest Laboratories, together with Andrew Goldman, the firm’s Chief Investment Officer.


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For further Broadlake information contact:

Geraldine O’Neill PR        +353 87 686 2995 / +353 1 598 9400

Kilkenny headquartered Merlyn Industries acquired by Norcros plc in £60.0m deal

 Kilkenny headquartered Merlyn Industries acquired by Norcros plc in £60.0m deal
Merlyn Industries, the UK and Ireland’s market leading premium shower enclosures company, is being acquired by Norcros plc for £60.0m on a debt free, cash free basis (subject to certain adjustments)  from its shareholders the Hoyne family and Dublin based investment firm, Broadlake.  Merlyn was established in 2000, by EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist Michael Hoyne and the company employs 58 staff based in Kilkenny, a 16 person sales team in the UK and has 9 people in Asia.
Norcros plc is a group of market leading businesses supplying innovative, branded bathroom and kitchen products with operations in the UK and South Africa. Its portfolio of well-known brands includes Triton, VADO, Croydex and Johnson Tiles.
Merlyn revenues for the year ended 31 March 2017 were £30.7m and Net Profit was £5.0m.  Broadlake acquired a 30% stake in Merlyn in 2015 and has supported the continued expansion of the business.  Today, approximately 85% of the company’s products are sold in  the UK and  Mainland Europe.  

 Merlyn will continue to be run by its existing management team led by company CEO, Charlie Soden and under Norcros’s ownership will further develop its Kilkenny operations, focusing on the significant opportunities to grow the current business.
Merlyn is a compelling strategic fit for Norcros and complements the Group’s existing portfolio of products and brands.  The acquisition of Merlyn is consistent with the Group’s objective of expanding further into the bathroom product sector which will enable them to offer a ‘one stop shop’ to the trade and specification segments in the UK.
Commenting on the transaction:
Michael Hoyne (Merlyn Founder) said:
“Today is a special day in the development of Merlyn.  With the support of Norcros, the business is well placed now to continue to grow and expand.  This partnership will accelerate the company’s international growth and new product development ambitions.  The last 17 years success is as a result of the united ambition and commitment of every single Merlyn employee.  I am very proud of what we have all achieved and I wish Charlie and the whole team every success on their next phase of growth.”
Charlie Soden (Merlyn CEO) said:
“We are excited about this opportunity to deliver on our ambitious growth plans.  This acquisition will give us access to more customer channels and  I believe that Norcros is the very best partner for Merlyn.  We both want to make Merlyn stronger, bigger, better and grow faster but also to maintain our culture of innovation, quality and service.  It’s business as usual for our staff, customers and suppliers.”
Pete Smyth (Broadlake Founder & CEO) said:
“The journey with Michael and the senior management team is a perfect example of where Broadlake’s supportive model works.   We backed a great team and helped them develop and execute their growth strategy.  For the Broadlake team it’s very rewarding to help another ambitious Irish SME to realise its potential.”
Nick Kelsall (Norcros Group Chief Executive) said:
“The acquisition of Merlyn with its premium brands and market leading positions is an exciting addition to the Group, substantially broadening our bathroom product offering. Merlyn’s focus on design, new product development and its standard of customer service will significantly enhance the Group’s portfolio. I look forward to working with Charlie and his team, whose experience and enthusiasm for the business has impressed greatly, as we look to grow and develop the Merlyn business further.”
NOTE: Photos to follow from Jason Clarke – 087 252 0782
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For further Broadlake and Merlyn information contact:
Geraldine O’Neill PR        +353 87 686 2995 / +353 1 598 9400
Twitter:                @merlynshowering
Broadlake is a family investment company that typically invests €2-10m in established and growing businesses.  It has invested in seven businesses to date including Vita Liberata the International Skin care brand, 2468 Group the acquisitive Office Services business, TTM the International Healthcare Recruitment & Services company and Conveyortek the Northern Irish based Engineering company.
Twitter:                @wearebroadlake @broadlakepete
Norcros plc
Notes to Editors
  • Norcros is a leading supplier of high quality and innovative showers, taps, bathroom accessories, ceramic wall and floor tiles and adhesive products with operations primarily in the UK and South Africa.
  • Based in the UK, Norcros operates under six brands:
    • Triton Showers – Market leader in the manufacture and marketing of showers in the UK
    • Vado – A leading manufacturer and supplier of taps, mixer showers, bathroom accessories and valves
    • Croydex – A market-leading, innovative designer, manufacturer and distributor of high quality bathroom furnishings and accessories
    • Abode – A leading niche designer and distributor of high quality kitchen taps, bathroom taps and kitchen sinks
    • Johnson Tiles – A leading manufacturer and supplier of ceramic tiles in the UK
    • Norcros Adhesives – Manufacturer of tile & stone adhesives, grouts and related products
  • Based in South Africa, Norcros operates under three brands:
    • Tile Africa – Chain of retail stores focused on ceramic and porcelain tiles, and associated products such as sanitary ware, showers and adhesives
    • Johnson Tiles South Africa – Manufacturer of ceramic and porcelain tiles
    • TAL – The leading manufacturer of ceramic and building adhesives