Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Apivita fits the diversification strategy defined by the family-owned group perfectly,” said Exea on Thursday.
Natural beauty is among the fastest-growing segments in the cosmetics market today.
Apivita was established by Nikos and Niki Koutsianas in a pharmacy in Athens in 1972. Today it produces products whose formulations are based on propolis, honey, royal jelly, beeswax, plant extracts and essential oils. These are inspired by bee culture, nature in Greece and the holistic approach to health, beauty and wellbeing as put forth by Hippocrates.
Apivita’s wide-ranging brand portfolio includes facial care, hair care, body care, grooming products, baby and child care, and well-being items.
Nikos Koutsianas is to remain as a shareholder in Apivita and its president. Hervé Lesieur, the executive who invested with Exea in Laboratoires Dermatologues d’Uriage in 2011 and serves as president and chief executive officer of that dermocosmetics brand, is also taking a minority stake in Apivita.
The Greek company posts annual sales of about 40 million euros, or $42.3 million at current exchange. Its products are sold in numerous European countries, including Greece, where it is market leader in its category, and Spain, where Apivita products are sold through pharmacies, department stores and company-owned flagships.
“Apivita has a strong research function in the fields of chemistry, pharmacy, biology and cosmetology, with scientific collaborations with over 70 universities and research institutions in 23 countries, benefitting from European research programs,” according to Exea.
Exea is the owner of Puig, the Barcelona-based, family-run company that owns brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Carolina Herrera and Nina Ricci, plus has licensed fragrance labels like Prada, Valentino and Comme des Garçons.
Exea also owns Uriage, the Flamagás brand of lighters and a 50 percent stake in Isdin, a beauty label held jointly with the Esteve family through Laboratorios Esteve.