PARIS — Beiersdorf AG has just gotten closer to acquiring a slice of the Chinese hair care market.

The German multinational corporation announced Tuesday it is to acquire an 85 percent stake in Hong Kong-based C-Bons Hair Care Holding (International) Ltd. from Global Source Investments Ltd., through its Austrian affiliate Beiersdorf CEE Holding GmbH.

As reported, Beiersdorf signed a letter of intent in February to purchase the firm.

Beiersdorf will pay 269.5 million euros, or $384 million at current exchange, for the stake, valuing C-Bons Hair Care at 317 million, or $452 million, on a cash- and debt-free basis. Global Source will retain a 15 percent stake for at least two years, after which Beiersdorf can pay a minimum of 47.6 million euros, or $68 million, for it.

In a statement, Hamburg, Germany-based Beiersdorf said the acquisition of C-Bons Hair Care strengthens its business in China, a priority market. Beiersdorf said the company's hair care activities complement its own business there, where the Nivea and Eucerin skin care brands have clocked high double-digit growth in recent years.

The acquisition will also boost Beiersdorf's activities in the hair care segment, it said. C-Bons Hair Care — which manufactures shampoo, conditioner and styling products, under brands such as Slek and Maestro, and has a well-developed distribution network — is among China's leading hair care players.

Thomas Quaas, Beiersdorf's chief executive officer, said in the statement, "We are very pleased to have taken another significant step forward in the China market. C-Bons Hair Care is an ideal extension of our already successful Nivea business, adding established domestic consumer brands and strong market positions."

When the deal is finalized, as expected before the end of this year, Wu Yong-nan, president of C-Bons Hair Care will become its ceo. Werner Brettschneider, Beiersdorf's recently appointed president for Greater China, is to become the newly acquired firm's chairman of the board.

— Ellen Groves

P&G to Present Findings on Aging

NEW YORK — Procter & Gamble has studied how genetic expression and the appearance of aging relate to one another, and the company is presenting its findings at the 21st World Congress of Dermatology in Buenos Aires this week.The consumer products giant, which markets skin care brands like Olay, DDF and SK-II, said its researchers were able to identify "metabolic pathways" active in the skin of 18- to 20-year-olds but inactive in the skin of 60- to 76-year-olds. The firm also said it identified processes that are "overly active" in older skin, such as inflammation.

In another study, P&G researchers observed that different genes were expressed in skin that aged naturally, or "intrinsically," and skin that was aged by environmental factors, or "extrinsically," according to the company.

"By understanding how specific genes are modulated by the aging process, scientists now have the means to develop treatments to shut down those processes that age skin considerably," according to a P&G statement.

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