LONDON — CITIC Capital Partners, the private equity arm of CITIC Capital, has completed the acquisition of Hangzhou UCO Cosmetics, one of China’s leading e-commerce service providers for beauty and cosmetic brands, from Qingdao Kingking Applied Chemistry.
Although the terms were not disclosed, market sources said the deal was worth around 1.4 billion renminbi, or $209 million.
Zhao Hanxi, a senior managing director at CITIC Capital, said: “The beauty sector is one of the fastest-growing consumer sectors, with e-commerce being the growth engine for many of the global and local beauty brands in the China market. UCO Cosmetics is known for its deep understanding of digital and e-commerce, innovative and technology-enabled solutions, and dedication in quality service.”
Founded in 2010 by Arthur Chang, a former Alibaba executive, UCO Cosmetics achieved more than 6.5 billion renminbi, or $970 million, in gross merchandise volume sales in 2018. It delivered 2.5 million orders for its clients during last year’s Tmall Singles Day shopping festival. He said to the local press that the management team will provide consumers with a better experience through digital technology, with the support of CITIC Capital.
The company provides one-stop, omnichannel retail solutions, from digital and market-entry strategy, omnichannel retail operation, to social media and marketing content creation, to more than 40 brands. Clients include Estée Lauder, MAC, Clinique, Kose Group, L’Occitane and Clarins.
The company helps its clients to operate on Tmall and other leading Chinese e-commerce platforms such as JD.com, VIP.com and XiaoHongShu, as well as host WeChat stores and brand sites.
CITIC Capital is an alternative investment management and advisory company and an affiliate of CITIC Group, one of China’s top conglomerates with close ties to Beijing dating back to 1979. The company operates in China, Japan and the U.S. and in the past few years, has completed more than 60 investments, with $7.3 billion in committed capital.
This will be seventh carve-out deal that CITIC Capital Partners has completed within two years.