Kylie Jenner may be celebrating her recent business alliance that will net her hundreds of millions of dollars, but it turns out the company she partnered with has a questionable history. Kylie Cosmetics sold off a 51% stake in the business to Coty, Inc, a multinational beauty product company that owns brands like Adidas, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana.
The corporate ownership takes a dark turn, however, because Coty's largest shareholder is a private German investment conglomerate named JAB Holding Company, which is owned by a family with admitted ties to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party.
The Reimann Family
JAB Holding owns brands including Keurig, Panera, Krispy Kreme. The principal owners of the company are Germany's wealthy Reimann family. Currently, 90% of the company's ownership rests with four of the late Albert Reimann Jr.'s nine adopted children.
Much of the company's success in the 19th century is attributed to chemical and household products headed by Albert Reimann Sr and his son, Albert Reimann Jr.
In March 2019, a German newspaper reported they had uncovered documents that revealed Albert Reimann Sr. and Albert Reimann Jr. were financial supporters of the Nazi party and that during World War II they used Russian civilians and French prisoners of war as forced laborers to construct business buildings and private villas.
They donated to Nazi organizations as early as 1931, and Albert Reimann Jr once complained about the French prisoners’ work rate, according to the German report.
The Family Was Shocked
It's unclear if the Kardashian family was aware of the Nazi connection with their new business partners, but after the initial report surfaced in March, the Reimann family hired their own historian to investigate and were presented with the same conclusions.
Peter Harf, chairman of JAB Holding, said when they were told the news, "We were ashamed and white as the wall. There is nothing to gloss over. These crimes are disgusting." Harf added that the elder Reimanns "belonged actually in prison" for their acts.
Because of the revelation, the Reimann family has pledged to donate $11 million to a "suitable" charity, but have not yet named an organization.
Kylie Jenner is more focused on the future than the past with her new ally and released a statement about her role in Kylie Cosmetics going forward with the sale.
"I’m excited to partner with Coty to continue to reach even more fans of Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin around the world. I look forward to continuing the creativity and ingenuity for each collection that consumers have come to expect and engaging with my fans across social media. This partnership will allow me and my team to stay focused on the creation and development of each product while building the brand into an international beauty powerhouse.
Harf also issued a statement about the partnership and implied a strategy of global domination for Kylie.
"This new partnership between Kylie and Coty is an exciting step in Coty’s renewed emphasis on its beauty business. Kylie is a modern-day icon, with an incredible sense of the beauty consumer, and we believe in the high potential of building a global beauty brand together.