A sharp rise in investment activity involving natural personal care companies is expected in 2010, according to London, U.K.-based Organic Monitor. Improving economic conditions and easing of capital restrictions are prompting investors to target this high-growth sector once again. The natural personal care industry was the darling of the investment community until the financial crisis started in 2008. After a lull period of 18 months, major deals have restarted. Shiseido has acquired Bare Escentuals in a $1.7 billion deal, while the cosmetics company Clarins recently completed its purchase of Kibio. Organic Monitor sees more deals like this on the horizon as investors once again start pursuing natural personal care companies. Investors are attracted by high market growth rates and profitable product categories. European companies are expected to be involved in major deals in 2010 because of the lack of “investable” companies in North America. Many leading American companies have already been acquired, leaving relatively few suitable privately-owned companies. In contrast, Europe has a high concentration of sizeable private companies.