Bankrupt Amyris auctions off four beauty brands

By Julia Wray | Published: 4-Dec-2023

THG Beauty buys ‘clean’ skin care label Biossance for $20 million

Amyris has auctioned off four consumer brands in its portfolio, including ‘clean’ skin care label Biossance. 

The biotech beauty company filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August. 

According to a court document, the US business of Lookfantastic and Cult Beauty owner THG Beauty successfully bid US$20m for Biossance, whose products are based on a hydrating molecule made from sustainable fermented sugarcane.

Three more of Biossance’s Amyris stablemates were also sold at auction. 

Pipette went to HRB Brands, whose line-up includes Alberto VO5 and Zest; the conglomerate successfully bid $1.75m for the baby care brand. 

Women’s supplements label Meno Labs went to healthcare firm Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories for $3m, while 4U, the hair care brand of actress Tia Mowry, went to Scent Theory Products for $600,000. 

As well as the newly-divested 4U, Amyris’ line-up includes celebrity-fronted brands Stripes, the perimenopause brand from Australian actress Naomi Watts; JVN, the hair care brand of Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness; and model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Rose Inc. 

These, however, did not form part of Amyris’ recent round of auctions.  

Amyris said, upon announcing its bankruptcy, that it would exit all of its consumer brands, but continue to operate them through retail partners and e-commerce platforms during the sale process.  

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, Amyris had shown signs of trouble with CEO John Melo stepping down in June amid job cuts being announced. 

At the start of the year, the company, which specialises in synthetic renewable ingredients, licenced its sugar cane-derived squalane to Givaudan. 

The interim CEO and CFO of Amyris, Han Kieftenbeld, said in August, that he expected Amyris to “emerge as a financially stronger company with a more focused business model and well-defined path to profitability” at the end of the restructuring process. 

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