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Shiseido Said Considering Selling North America Makeup Brands

The coronavirus pandemic has many beauty companies to consider divestitures.

Shiseido is said to be considering divesting some of its North American makeup assets.

The Japanese beauty group is considering selling Bare Minerals, Laura Mercier and Buxom, according to several industry sources. A spokeswoman for Shiseido said, “As a matter of policy, we do not comment on market rumors or speculation.”

Some of Shiseido’s makeup brands have struggled, especially Bare Minerals, which Shiseido took private in 2010 for $1.7 billion.

Shiseido sales dipped globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said. Sales in the Americas dropped 25.7 percent in 2020, despite the company closing unprofitable Bare Minerals stores.

Divesting makeup assets would allow Shiseido to focus more on skin care, noted one industry source, which is a stated priority.

Shiseido representative director, president and chief executive officer Masahiko Uotani has said publicly that the group plans to focus more on skin care. By 2023, Uotani said 80 percent of all sales should come from skin care products. Right now, about 60 percent of Shiseido’s sales come from the category.

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Earlier this year, Shiseido inked a deal to sell its personal care segment to CVC Capital Partners for $1.5 billion. With that transaction, Shiseido shed mass market assets in order to focus on the rest of the beauty business.

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The company also owns a stake in Violet Grey, which is said to be in deal talks with Farfetch.

The coronavirus pandemic has many big beauty players reassessing brand portfolios, and many have publicly spoken about considering divestitures.

The Estée Lauder Cos. has revealed it will close two underperforming brands in the past few months, and is said to be considering selling others. L’Oréal closed Clarisonic last year.

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