"This has to signal more M&A activity about to come down the pike in CPG, not least in the beauty space," observed Colin Hession, managing director of specialist beauty consultants, Colin Hession Consulting. "CDR has a reputation for carving out complex deals, including spinning off Sally Beauty from Alberto-Culver...a great company in salon hair supplies, with singularly little direct competition, although they haven't quite got it right in Europe yet.
"I think there's there's a lot to go for internationally on the salon side itself, where Regis is the only consolidator of note," Hession added. "But it needs a big vision, both Stateside and overseas...precisely where AG's huge experience would be invaluable."
Lafley won't be the first former CEO to join the firm. The Clayton, Dubilier & Rice roster already includes GE's Jack Welch and Edward Liddy of Allstate. Meanwhile, another private equity group, Carlyle Group, is expected to add former Wyeth CEO Robert Essner any day now.
Although Lafley left P&G in January, he hasn't been sitting idly in Cincinnati. He just returned from a five-week trip to New Zealand, is writing a book on strategy and continues to serve as a GE director and chairman of the board of trustees for Hamilton College, his alma mater.