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Ushopal Acquires Argentum Apothecary

The luxury clean British beauty brand generates more than $50 million in sales in China.

PARIS ­— Chinese omnichannel brand partner Ushopal has acquired luxury clean British beauty brand Argentum Apothecary.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shanghai-based Ushopal, which is billed to be China’s leading luxury beauty brand group, specializes in scaling Gen Z-focused luxury brands in the beauty and wellness space. It formerly had a minority stake in Argentum.

The rhythm of investments in clean beauty labels has picked up in the recent past, as consumers increasingly seek out products that are transparent and have well-being attributes. Some of the deals in the last 12 months include Amorepacific’s purchase of Tata Harper Skincare; the Courtin family holding, Famille C, acquiring Ilia Beauty, and L’Oréal’s buying Youth to the People.

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Ushopal built Argentum into a top-three Gen Z luxury beauty brand in China in 12 months, leveraging social media channels such as TikTok to do so, the companies said jointly in a release.

Argentum generated more than $50 million in annual sales in China by honing in on brand positioning as well as a content and community-first approach.

Ushopal plans to continue developing Argentum’s dominant position in the Asian market and simultaneously broadening the brand’s presence in the Americas and Europe.

“Unlike capital-only partners, Ushopal nurtures and inspires brand founders to focus and excel in strategy, branding and product excellence, while also providing needed capital to ensure a precision scale-up that supports supply chain and ongoing R&D,” said Joy Isaacs, founder and chief executive officer of Argentum Apothecary, in the statement.

She will continue steering the brand.

Argentum, which was launched in 2013, is sold in 26 countries through its own e-commerce site; other e-tailers such as Net-a-Porter and Bonnie & Clyde, and Argentum’s own flagship store in London’s Notting Hill. The U.K. and China are Argentum’s largest markets.

Its product formulas include patented silver hydrosol and DNA HP formulas. Argentum’s portfolio has seven skin care products. The brand’s upcoming launches include the silver tonic water L’Eau de Jouvence, and a line of 13 fragrances.

Ushopal, which closed a $100 million round of funding with FountainVest and Cathay Capital in early March 2021, has been active in niche beauty brand acquisitions. The group has already invested in several of its brand partners, such as Natura Bissé from Spain and French fragrance label Juliette Has a Gun, which was created by Nina Ricic’s great-grandson Romano.

Ushopal is planning an initial public offering.