Founder of SheaMoisture, Richelieu Dennis, Acquires Essence From Time Inc.

Rich Dennis
By Angela Helm

Essence Communications Inc., the 47-year-old mutliplatform brand that owns Essence magazine and the annual Essence Festival, has gone back to black (ownership), having been acquired by Essence Ventures LLC, an independent African-American-owned company,  Essence Ventures announced in a press release.

The Essence brand was not part of the historic, nearly $3 billion sale of Time Inc. to the Meredith Corp. in November 2017. The brand was looking for another buyer and has apparently found one with Essence Ventures, which was founded and is chaired by Richelieu Dennis, who also is founder of SheaMoisture (in November, Unilever acquired the parent company for SheaMoisture, Sundial Brands).

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Shea Moisture Founder Rich Dennis On Their Recent Merger & Giving Black Women 100 Million To Create Businesses

Sundial Founder Richelieu Dennis 
By Erickka Sy Savané

It was a festive evening at Ginny’s Supper Club, the intimate downstairs lounge at Red Rooster in Harlem last week. I was there tagging along with my girl Sid, who gets invited everywhere, and honestly, anytime I can get away from an evening of doing homework with the kids is cause to get lit! Everyone else, however, was there to celebrate the merger between Sundial, the parent company that owns Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage, Madame C.J. Walker and nyako, with Unilever, a multinational company that generated over 50 billion in sales last year. Although the amount of the merger was not made public, one can guess from the fact that Sundial is expected to turn over an estimated $240 million this year, that it ain’t too shabby. Sundial founder Richelieu Dennis will continue as CEO and executive chairman for the company that he started in 1991 with his mom and longtime friend, Nyema Tubman, all Liberians unable to return to the country once Civil War broke. Here are some highlights from the evening, along with the deets on the 100 million that Sundial plans to give black women!

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