Sol de Janeiro: The Brazilian-inspired beauty brand known for its luxurious body care products and addictive fragrances, has captivated hearts (and noses) worldwide. But who owns this sun-kissed empire? The answer, as with many things in the world of business, is a little more nuanced than a simple “whodunnit.”

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From Humble Beginnings to Beachy Brilliance

The story of Sol de Janeiro begins in 2015, with co-founder and CEO Heela Yang Tsuzuki. After falling in love with the vibrant beach culture of Brazil, she envisioned a brand that captured its essence: joy, confidence, and a celebration of one’s unique beauty.

Yang, a Korean-American with a background in marketing for luxury brands like Clinique and Lancôme, knew a thing or two about building empires. She partnered with Marc Capra, a seasoned entrepreneur, and together they launched Sol de Janeiro with their now-iconic Bum Bum Cream.

The product, infused with the intoxicating scent of Cheirosa ’62 (a blend of pistachio, salted caramel, and vanilla) and promising a “gloriously smooth, deliciously scented” derrière, quickly became a cult favorite.

The Rise of a Beauty Powerhouse

Sol de Janeiro’s success wasn’t just about a good-smelling bum cream. Yang and Capra tapped into a growing desire for self-love and body positivity, creating a brand that resonated with a diverse audience. Their playful packaging, vibrant marketing campaigns, and focus on inclusivity further fueled their meteoric rise.

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By 2021, Sol de Janeiro was a force to be reckoned with, boasting a loyal customer base and impressive revenue. This caught the eye of the L’Occitane Group, a French beauty giant known for brands like L’Occitane en Provence and Elemis.

A Match Made in Beauty Heaven?

In November 2021, L’Occitane acquired an 83% stake in Sol de Janeiro for a cool $450 million. This move was seen by many as a strategic partnership, with L’Occitane providing the resources and global reach to help Sol de Janeiro expand even further.

Yang remained CEO, retaining a significant stake in the company and ensuring her vision continued to guide the brand.

So, Who Owns Sol de Janeiro Today?

With the L’Occitane Group holding a majority stake, they are undoubtedly the biggest shareholder. However, Yang and Capra, along with other investors and employees, still hold a significant portion of the company.

This joint ownership structure is an interesting dynamic. It allows Sol de Janeiro to benefit from L’Occitane’s expertise and infrastructure while maintaining its unique brand identity and entrepreneurial spirit.

What Does the Future Hold?

With a dedicated fanbase, innovative product launches, and powerful backing from L’Occitane, Sol de Janeiro’s future seems bright. The company continues to expand globally, introducing its Brazilian sunshine to new corners of the world.

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Major Shareholders of Sol de Janeiro:

The Takeaway

Sol de Janeiro’s ownership journey is a testament to the power of vision, hard work, and a little bit of Brazilian magic. From humble beginnings to a global phenomenon, the brand’s success is a reminder that sometimes, the sunniest days come from the most unexpected places.

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WRITTEN BY ALEX