LONDON – United Kingdom-based consumer products giant Unilever plans to buy Carver Korea, a leading Asian skin care company, for $2.69 billion.
The transaction, with Bain Capital Private Equity and Goldman Sachs, is subject to customary regulatory approvals, Unilever said Monday.
Carver has become South Korea’s fastest-growing skin care business via sales of its AHC brand, which focuses on the high-demand consumer segments of age management and hydration/nourishment, according to Unilever. The brand’s product range includes the hero product Eye Cream for Face plus essences, toners, moisturisers, masks and sun protection.
South Korea is the world’s fourth-largest skin care market and a beauty care trend leader, Unilever said, explaining that “K-Beauty” has become a globally used shorthand for sophisticated skin care that is widely exported. Unilever noted that Carver has a strong position in this space and will boost its presence in Asian beauty marketplace and its personal care space globally.
“We are delighted to be acquiring Carver Korea. It is an impressive business that is completely aligned to our personal care strategy,” stated Alan Jope, president of personal care at Unilever. “It will significantly strengthen our position in North Asia, the largest skin care market in the world, and will complement our existing portfolio, enabling us to offer luxury skin care products at attainable price points.
“AHC has been strongly gaining popularity thanks to its efficacious, innovative and premium products,” Jope added, “and it therefore offers great opportunities for growth.”
Founded in 1999, Carver Korea has built on its origins as an aesthetics company supplying professional products to beauty salons and seen exponential growth over the last five years, delivering sales of $380.3 million in 2016.
“This has been a great opportunity for us to partner with a leading Korean company in an exciting segment of the cosmetics space and to help support its brand, operations and growth around the world,” commented Ed Han, a managing director for Bain Capital Private Equity. “Unilever is a strong partner to help the company in its next phase of growth and development.”