Unilever seals $2.7bn deal for South Korean skin care company

Unilever seals $2.7bn deal for South Korean skin care company

Troy Powers
September 27, 2017

Continuing its expansion into the beauty and personal care business, Unilever is buying the cosmetics firm cosmetics firm Carver Korea for $2.71 billion, making Goldman Sachs's and Bain Capital's 60% investment previous year look like a handsome deal, indeed.

"It is an impressive business that is completely aligned to our Personal Care strategy", Alan Jope, president of Unilever Personal Care, said in a statement.

The deal is the biggest in the history of South Korea's cosmetics industry. "It will significantly strengthen our position in North Asia, the largest skin care market in the world".

Bain and Goldman Sachs jointly bought a roughly 60 per cent majority stake in Carver for around $500 million past year, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The move towards the cosmetic and personal care sector has already seen the FTSE 100-listed giant acquire a number of beauty brands, including Dermalogica, Ren, Murad and Living Proof as they offer higher growth and profit margins, compared to its food brands. "The company's origins are as a professional products supplier for beauty salons", reports David Salazar for Drug Store News. AHC's products also include moisturizers, toners and sun protection.

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Unilever paid €2.27bn for its stake in Carver, a fast-growing skincare business which reported a threefold increase in revenues past year to €321m. In 2015, Carver posted total sales of about $130 million.

Bain and Goldman held 60.39 percent of Carver at the end of 2016, while its founder Lee Sang-rok held a 35 percent stake.

The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group announced the deal with Carver owners Bain Capital Private Equity and Goldman Sachs on Monday.

South Korean cosmetics companies had robust growth in past years, helped by strong Chinese demand, which has weakened recently amid geopolitical disputes in the region.