SheaMoisture founder Richelieu Dennis just made ESSENCE magazine a 100% Black-owned brand for the first time in nearly 20 years. Richelieu and his newly founded company Essence Ventures, LLC announced the purchase Wednesday (Jan. 3), while giving the magazine’s all-Black female executive team equity stake in the business.
“We are excited to be able to return this culturally relevant and historically significant platform to ownership by the people and the consumers whom it serves and offer new opportunities for the women leading the business to also be partners in the business,” said Richelieu in a statement.
ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks’ role will also be expanded as she continues in her current position and joins the company’s board of directors.
“This acquisition of ESSENCE represents the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational Black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, e-commerce and experiential platforms,” said Michelle. “In addition, it represents a critical recognition, centering and elevation of the Black women running the business from solely a leadership position to a co-ownership position.”
There are no details on what it cost to secure the company, but the move comes less than two months after Richelieu sold his Sundial Brands (maker of SheaMoisture, Madam C.J. Walker Beauty and Nubian Heritage) to Unilever and launched a groundbreaking $50 million New Voices Fund to empower women of color entrepreneurs.
Now this is what you call money moves.