Private equity: Investing in Russian beauty
Anyone seeking evidence of the growing range of investment opportunities for private equity practitioners in Russia need look no further than the news that Mint Capital has paid $8 million for a blocking minority stake in Mone, one of the country’s leading hairdressing and beauty salon chains.
"We are looking to surf the consumer boom in Russia"
Mone has so far built a chain of 17 salons in Moscow and St Petersburg, but thanks to Mint’s capital injection it is looking to expand into the regions to create the first true nationwide chain.
"Unlike the US and Europe, which are dominated by chain players, the Russian hairdressing and beauty salon market is still overwhelmed by individual and unofficial home-based outlets," says Alexander Glushkov, Mone president. According to industry estimates, chains command less than a 1% overall market share in Russia, whereas in the US and Europe that figure is 50% to 60%.
Glushkov adds that as incomes rise in Russia, customers are increasingly demanding a higher level of professionalism and quality of service as well as upscale locations and interiors, and that chains such as Mone, which has its own staff training centre, are best placed to cater for this demand. In the past two years, Mone’s customer base has grown by more than 160%, and the average bill size has more than doubled over the same period.