Unilever Buys South Korean Cosmetics Firm for $2.7 Billion

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

"Unilever continues to build a portfolio of niche brands in premium beauty to capture opportunities in high-margin dynamic categories", said Ildiko Szalai, analyst at Euromonitor International, which says the South Korean beauty and personal care market has grown faster than the global average over the past five years. That year, according to Unilever, the Korean company reported €321 million in sales and €137 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Alan Jope, Unilever President Personal Care, said "We are delighted to be acquiring Carver Korea".

Purchasing the firm from Bain Capital Private Equity and Goldman Sachs for €2.27 billion, or about $2.6 billion, the consumer products giant said it believes the company is poised to grow both in the northern Asia region and beyond.

The contract also marks the largest merger and acquisition deal ever for a South Korean cosmetics firm. Past year it embarked on a restructuring aimed at making its local units more responsive to trends in their markets and is employing its own social-media influencers while also buying local brands.

Bain and Goldman Sachs had jointly bought around 60 per cent stake in Carver Korea past year for around $500 million.

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Bain and Goldman Sachs jointly bought about 60 percent of Carver for roughly $500 million past year, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The company, which makes products like Hellmann's mayonnaise and Lipton tea, has sought to shrink its exposure to slow-growth commodity businesses like food spreads, a line of products that it is in the process of selling.

Carver Korea, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs were not available for immediate comment.

"South Korea is the fourth-largest skincare market in the world", the company said in the statement. AHC's products include moisturizers, toners and sun protection.

This is not the first time Unilever has struck a deal in the beauty business - in 2015 alone, it bought four high-end skin-care brands.

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