Karen Matthews to lead new beauty and health group

Karen Matthews, the former Australian Chief Executive Officer of skincare company Ella Bache, has been appointed CEO of newly formed health and beauty company, Beauty Health Group (BHG).

BHG is a new concept in Australasian health and beauty and brings together, under the BHG umbrella, small to medium sized health and beauty brands throughout Australia and Asia. The business will comprise a services division, with a full suite of salon and spa offerings, and a products division, encompassing a range of well known beauty health products.

As CEO of Ella Bache Australia/New Zealand for ten years, Matthews (pictured) was responsible for doubling revenue, returning the business to positive cash-flow and profitability and launching Australia’s first skincare franchise model. She won several business awards for her achievements, including NSW Telstra Business Woman of the Year in 2004 and PwC’s Australian Franchise Woman of the Year 2007.

“Through my ten years with Ella Bache and my industry experience prior to this, I have established a very strong understanding of this industry and I am well aware of the challenges and the competition that many businesses in this sector face. Whilst acquisitions and equity investment are obvious growth channels for BHG, there is also scope for growth in partnering with passionate business owners to help them meet their full potential,” Matthews said.

She added that there is a real opportunity to establish BHG as a leading Australian and
Asian beauty and healthcare business in an industry that is valued at US$80 billion per year in the Asia-Pacific region.

“This segment of the market is characterised by passionate founders, technicians, and family businesses that have a great vision but are at times constrained due to a lack of funding, knowhow and resources. Our model is based on investing in these businesses, recognising the strength of the underlying operations and their potential and vision, and working with the owners on building and growing these businesses so they reach their full potential.”

BHG is currently assessing a number of potential partnerships with well established small to medium sized products and services businesses both in Australia and Asia.

BHG is backed by First Capital Partners, a private merchant bank with operations in Australia, China and Hong Kong. BHG is planning to list on the Australian Securities Exchange late in 2010.

For further information please contact: Karen Matthews, CEO on (02) 9250 8819 or Karen.Matthews@beautyhealthgroup.com.au  

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