By  on September 23, 2013

NEW DELHI — L’Oréal, the world’s largest beauty company, has made its first acquisition in India, a market it has targeted for significant future growth, by signing a deal to buy Cheryl’s Cosmeceuticals, a skin-care manufacturer with $3.1 million in annual sales and distribution in 10,000 salons.

The acquisition was the first for Jean-Christophe Letellier, who took over as managing director of L’Oréal India on Aug. 1. “This acquisition helps complete our professional product portfolio,” he said.

L’Oréal India, formed in 1994, has been in a race to grow its market share. It has a factory in India and distributes and sells more than 15 brands. The company is ranked by market sources as number two in the Indian beauty market, after Hindustan Unilever Ltd. L’Oréal’s sales in India are estimated at 15.7 billion rupees, or $250 million at current exchange. But the company has its sights set on reaching 70 billion rupees, $1.12 billion, before the turn of the decade.

The professional market accounts for 20 percent of the group’s sales in India and Letellier noted that the professional skin-care market was as strong as that for hair care in terms of market value.

“This can accelerate our investment in the Indian market,” he said. “At this time we have Kéraskin at the very top end of the professional skin-care market and can now look at going as deep as Matrix [hair care] in terms of skin care. Our objective is to accelerate the presence of Cheryl as a brand and grow the presence, which is predominant in Western India in the state of Maharashtra.”

Cheryl’s Cosmeceuticals was started in 1986 by Oscar and Cheryl Pereira and became focused on the cosmeceutical segment in 2002. “With L’Oréal I know the brand will grow, hopefully internationally. I hope that will take forward the 25 years we have invested in the brand,” Oscar Pereira told WWD.

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