Unilever Buys South Korean Cosmetics Biz In €2.27B Deal

Unilever share price Group to buy Carver Korea for €2.27bn

Unilever has agreed to pay 2.27 billion euros ($2.71 billion) to buy fast-growing cosmetics company Carver Korea in its latest move to build a global beauty business.

Founded in 1999, "Carver's leading brand, AHC [Aesthetic Hydration Cosmetics], is focused on age management and skin hydration and nourishment, with a line of products that includes essences, toners, moisturizers, masks and sun protection products".

Goldman and Bain bought the stake in Carver, whose beauty product brands including flagship skincare line A.H.C., just past year.

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"It's right at the top-end of what Unilever's paid for things but it's pretty profitable and 35 percent of the sales go to China, so they're acquiring right in the heartland of current beauty trends", the analyst pointed out.

"Unilever has made acquisitions a central part of its strategy" under Polman, Michael de la Merced observes for the New York Times. This is reflective of a "recalibration" of advertising spend in the overall market, strong savings delivery from its zero-based budgeting programme, as well as innovation and support plans weighted towards the second half of 2017, particularly in personal care. The two had formed a consortium a year ago to buy the stake for 430 billion won.

Jope said the purchase will enable Unilever to "offer luxury skincare products at attainable price points".

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"South Korean women are also happy to spend twice as much of their income on beauty products compared to American customers while South Korean men spend more on skincare than any other in the world".

Carver Korea, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs were not available for immediate comment. In 2015, Carver posted total sales of about $130 million.

Carver Korea secured sales of €321m and earnings of €137m past year, with sales of its AHC brand making it the fastest growing skincare business in South Korea.

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