PARIS — L’Oréal has finalized the acquisition of skin-care brands CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., the French beauty giant said on Monday.In a move to bolster its U.S. business in the dynamic active cosmetics segment, L’Oréal announced in January that it had signed a definitive agreement with Valeant to purchase the trio of brands for $1.3 billion in cash.CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi – with their respective focus on dry skin, acne, and dark spots and brightening – generate yearly revenue of about $168 million combined and put L’Oréal head-to-head with Nestlé’s blockbuster Cetaphil brand.CeraVe, founded in 2005, was developed with dermatologists. It comprises a line of skin-care products, including cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens, healing ointments and a range for babies, with medium retail price points between $7 to $22, and estimated annual sales of $140 million, according to J.P. Morgan Cazenove.L’Oréal considers CeraVe to be among the fastest-growing skin-care brands in the U.S., with average gains over the past two years of more than 20 percent.AcneFree, with medium product prices ranging from $6 to $33, markets and distributes a collection of over-the-counter cleansers and acne treatments in the country, while Ambi, at $6 to $13, includes skin care created for multicultural consumers.The three product ranges are distributed in U.S. drugstores, mass-market and beauty retailers, plus via select online outlets.Mergers-and-acquisitions activity in the beauty space, which was rife in 2016, keeps percolating this year, with purchase prices on the rise. L’Oréal paid 7.7-times sales for the three U.S. skin-care labels, which is a higher multiple than the 6.1-times sales it offered to buy IT Cosmetics – for $1.2 billion – last year. The Estée Lauder Cos., meantime, paid a 5.5-times multiple when it shelled out $1.45 billion for Too Faced.Dermocosmetics brands are a hot commodity today and make up one of the fastest-growing categories in beauty, spurred largely by Millennials. Such labels not only benefit from their treatment solutions but also from how they are positioned – promoted not for their cosmetics benefits but for skin health.L’Oréal had been acquisitive throughout 2016. Beside IT Cosmetics, the company in July also said that it had made an offer to buy Société des Thermes de Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and the license to use the Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc beauty brand. In June, L’Oréal signed an agreement to purchase Atelier Cologne.
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