Unilever snaps up Asian cosmetics firm Carver Korea

Consumer goods giant Unilever has struck a €2.27bn deal to buy South Korean cosmetics firm Carver Korea.

The Anglo-Dutch company has bought the entire business from Bain Capital Private Equity, Goldman Sachs and the firm's founder, strengthening its foothold in the Asian beauty market.

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

The tie-up is subject to regulatory approval.

Alan Jope, Unilever president of personal care, said: "We are delighted to be acquiring Carver Korea. It is an impressive business that is completely aligned to our personal care strategy.

"It 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.

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

Unilever, which employs 169,000 people worldwide, announced in April that it would offload some of its best-known brands - including Flora and Stork - after fending off a $143 billion (€119bn) takeover attempt from Kraft Heinz.

It plans to sell or de-merge its underperforming spreads business, which could yield up to €6.8bn.

The Marmite and Pot Noodle maker cut loose a portion of the spreads division on Friday when it secured a deal to take full control of its South African subsidiary from Remgro in exchange for its spreads unit and cash.

Unilever revealed in July that pre-tax profits had climbed 27% to €4.6bn for the first half of 2017, up from €3.6bn the year before.

Focusing on the Carver Korea deal, Ed Han, Bain Capital Private Equity managing director, said: "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.

"Unilever is a strong partner to help the company in its next phase of growth and development."


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