Unilever buys into K-beauty

In its latest move to build a global beauty business, Unilever has bought Korea’s leading beauty brand for €2.27bn (Au$3.44bn)

The company, which owns Dermalogica, Murad, REN and Kate Somerville, has bought Carver Korea from Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs and founder Lee Sang-rok.

Established in 1999, Carver has shown exponential growth over the last five years, delivering sales of €321m (AU$486m) and EBITDA of €137m (Au$207m) in 2016 through the sales of its AHC skincare brand.

Building on its origins as an aesthetics brand supplying beauty salons, AHC’s portfolio is focused “on two high-demand consumer spaces” ‒ age management, and hydration and nourishment”.

The range includes its hero product, ‘Eye Cream for Face’, as well as essences, toners, moisturisers, masks and sun protection.

Announcing the purchase, Unilever president of personal care Alan Jope said Carver Korea is “an impressive business” that is “completely aligned” to Unilever’s personal care strategy.

“It [the purchase) will significantly strengthen our position in North Asia (the largest skincare market in the world) and will complement our existing portfolio enabling us to offer luxury skincare products at attainable price points,” he said.

 

“AHC has been strongly gaining popularity thanks to its efficacious, innovative and premium products, and it therefore offers great opportunities for growth.”

Unilever acquired Dermalogica, Murad, REN and Kate Somerville in 2015.

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