BOSTON, June 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Exaltare Capital Management, LLC (“Exaltare”), a Boston-based private equity firm with a focus on franchise and multi-unit businesses, acquired UKW Holding Company and its affiliated companies (“Uni K Wax” or “the Company”). Headquartered in Aventura, FL Uni K Wax is a leading franchisor and operator of waxing studios, with 32 franchised and 2 corporate locations in Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Texas, and produces a proprietary all-natural elastic wax. Joining as Uni K Wax’s Executive Chair is Heather Elrod, former CEO of Amazing Lash and Managing Partner of Conscious Capital Growth, a franchisor growth accelerator. Following this investment, Noemi Grupenmager, who founded the Company in 1993, will continue to be involved and remain a significant shareholder.
Exaltare’s Managing Partner & Founder, Omar Simmons, said, “Our goal is to enable more franchisees to take advantage of the Uni K Wax opportunity for meaningful wealth creation as business owners. Noemi has built something special in Uni K Wax, and Heather brings deep and relevant expertise, having overseen Amazing Lash’s growth from 70 to 200 stores. We look forward to expanding and strengthening the franchise system together.”
Heather Elrod, stated, “Uni K Wax is a beloved brand with a loyal customer base. I am delighted to partner with Exaltare and Noemi to bring the company’s proprietary all-natural elastic wax to a broader audience. The sky is the limit when you have an industry-leading product, strong studio economics, and passionate franchisees.”
Noemi Grupenmager stated, “I founded Uni K Wax in search of a better waxing experience for my then teenage daughters. Almost 30 years later, I am excited to welcome investor-operators who share my passion for the brand. Exaltare’s track record of successfully scaling franchisee investments and Heather’s experience in Amazing Lash is the perfect combination to accelerate Uni K Wax’s growth.”
This acquisition is Exaltare’s first franchisor investment, following investments in three franchisee platforms. In each platform, Exaltare was the first institutional investor in the franchise system. In Planet Fitness, Exaltare grew its platform from 15 units to 108 before selling a controlling stake in 2021. In 2022, Exaltare invested in the Urban Air franchise system by forming Elevated Venture Holdings (“EVG”), with parks in Texas, Florida and Oklahoma. In February 2023, Exaltare partnered with Good Feet Midwest (“GFMW”), the second largest franchisee in the Good Feet system. EVG and GFMW are actively growing via development and acquisitions.
The transaction was financed by Exaltare and Capitala Group (“Capitala”), a provider of private equity and private credit capital to lower- and middle-market small businesses throughout North America, which provided debt and equity capital.
Exaltare’s Director, Eugene Dayanghirang, stated, “We could not be more excited to join forces with our partners in Uni K Wax. This is our first investment alongside Capitala, and they have been flexible and supportive throughout the process. And Heather and Noemi fit nicely with Exaltare’s strategy to collaborate with our portfolio companies, seeking to add value while allowing Management to operate the business on a day-to-day basis.”
About Exaltare Capital Management
Exaltare Capital Management is a private investment firm with a focus on franchise and multi-unit investments. ECM’s principals have significant private equity and operational experience that enables the firm to be a value-added partner to its portfolio companies. Exaltare looks to invest in founder-owned businesses with $2 to $25 million of EBITDA. Since 2012, Exaltare has completed 17 platform and add-on transactions in multi-unit and franchised businesses, representing over 250 individual locations and over $900 million of capital. For more information, visit www.exaltarecapital.com.
About Uni K Wax
Headquartered in Aventura, FL UNI K WAX® is a leading franchisor and operator of waxing studios in the US, with 32 franchised and 2 corporate locations in Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Texas, and produces a proprietary all-natural elastic wax. UNI K WAX® was founded in 1993 when Noemi Grupenmager, frustrated by the poor waxing options for her daughters, began her pursuit for a better way to deliver waxing services. UNI K WAX® provides the full range of wax services – body, bikini/commando, face – for men, women, and teens. The Company’s proprietary all-natural elastic wax is applied at body temperature and across wider surfaces than the hard wax used by most of the industry, leading to shorter treatment times. To learn more about UNI K WAX® and explore franchising opportunities, visit www.unikwax.com.
About Capitala Group
Capitala Group is an asset management firm that has been providing private credit and private equity capital to lower- and middle-market businesses throughout North America for over twenty years. Since our inception in 1998, Capitala has invested over $2.2 billion into small businesses and strives to make an impact through responsible investing and a unified mission to support social impact initiatives. Capitala seeks to partner with strong management teams, business owners, funded financial sponsors and independent sponsors to create value and support growth through strategic partnerships, operational expertise, and a shared vision for success.
SOURCE EXALTARE Capital Partners