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On Mar. 22, 2024, shares in Waldencast fell 11%, after the global beauty and wellness company revealed further accounting adjustments to prior financial statements for its beleaguered Obagi Skincare business.

Waldencast acquired Obagi in July 2022 as part of a $1.2 billion three-way business combination with Obagi and Milk Makeup, billing Obagi as an industry-leading, advanced skin care line positioned in the high-growth dermo-cosmetic category. But over the past year, a series of accounting missteps at Obagi have flagged the company.

Problems with Obagi’s financial reporting were first revealed on May 2, 2023, when Waldencast announced it would not timely file its year end 2022 financial statements because of an ongoing review of accounting issues concerning Obagi’s product sales for the Vietnam market.

Then, on July 5, 2023, Waldencast announced that it would need to restate its financial statements for all of 2021 and for the first two quarters of 2022. The company explained that the misreporting stemmed from improper revenue recognition involving sales of its Obagi skincare products to its Southeast Asia distributor. Among other things, Waldencast said it “expects the revenue in connection with sales of its Obagi products for the Vietnam market during second half of fiscal year 2022 to be reduced to zero from its prior expectation of $33 million[.]”

On Jan. 16, 2024, Waldencast filed restated financial statements for 2020 and 2021. The company admitted that for 2021 it had (1) overstated revenues by about $63.6 million (or about 44%) and (2) overstated accounts receivable by about $44.6 million (or about 238%).

The Company further disclosed that as a result of the restatements, the SEC had launched an investigation and had subpoenaed the company for documents.

On Jan. 31, 2024, two weeks after the restatement, Waldencast announced that Philippe Gautier, its current chief financial officer and chief operating officer, was leaving the company, effective immediately. The company named Manuel Manfredi, an outsider, as its new CFO.

The accounting situation at Obagi became worse by Mar. 21, 2024, when Waldencast announced “adjustments” to the previously reported balance sheet and income statement data of Obagi as of- and for the period ended- Mar. 31, 2022. As to the balance sheet, Obagi’s accounts receivable were overstated by $45.6 million (or overstated by about 440%). As to the income statement, Obagi’s revenues were overstated by $13.6 million (or overstated by about 42%) and its net losses were understated by $2.8 million (or understated by about 55%).

These events have driven the price of Waldencast shares sharply lower.

WALD stock chart


What is the WALD investigation about?

We are investigating whether Waldencast may have intentionally overstated Obagi's revenues to appear more profitable.


I worked at WALD. What should I do?

If you were an employee of WALD, you may have valuable information that could be relevant to the investigation. Hagens Berman is one of the nation’s top whistleblower law firms, and has successfully represented many individuals who come forward with information regarding corporate malfeasance. Under the new SEC Whistleblower program, whistleblowers who provide original information may receive rewards totaling up to 30 percent of any successful recovery made by the SEC. For more information, contact Reed Kathrein at 844-916-0895 or [email protected].

There are multiple law firms participating, do I need to contact all of them?

No, you do not need to contact all participating law firms. Generally, class-action investigations and lawsuits are consolidated into a single case to streamline the legal process, and attorneys from only a few law firms are selected to serve in a leadership role on the consolidated case. Hagens Berman has a proven track record of being appointed to leadership roles in complex, multidistrict litigation regarding investor fraud and other consumer rights issues, and your claim will be handled by attorneys who have helped secure approximately $325 billion in class-action settlements on behalf of individuals who have suffered due to corporate malfeasance and the wrongdoing of other powerful institutions.


What is the threshold amount to be eligible? What are “substantial” losses?

The threshold amount and the definition of "substantial" losses may vary depending on a number of factors specific to the case, including the size of the company, market cap, shares outstanding and who holds them and the damages alleged by the fraud. In general, to be eligible to participate in a class-action lawsuit, you must be able to demonstrate that you suffered financial losses as a result of the alleged wrongdoing and that your losses meet the criteria set by the court or law firm. Fill out the form and submit your losses.


Am I affected? What do I need to do to participate?

If you were an investor in WALD, you may be affected and eligible to participate in the case. To determine your eligibility and potential involvement, fill out the form and submit your losses.

Can any WALD investor participate?

In most class-action investigations and cases, any investor who meets the eligibility criteria, including purchasing the shares during the relevant period, can participate, regardless of the size of their investment. Fill out the form to find out your rights.

I bought on a non-U.S. Exchange. Can I participate?

No. This investigation only covers shares bought on a U.S. exchange, i.e. NASDAQ or NYSE. Fill out the form to find out your rights.

Am I included if I still hold my shares, or do I need to sell to participate?

Participation is based on purchasing shares during the relevant period, rather than your current holdings. Accordingly, you do not need to sell to participate. Fill out the form to find out your rights.

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