MILAN — As part of a high-end beauty buying spree, Unilever said it plans to acquire the skin-care business Carver Korea for 2.27 billion euros from Bain Capital Private Equity and Goldman Sachs.
Carver was founded in 1999 as a supplier of professional products to beauty salons, and in 2016 had sales of 321 million euros and EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, of 137 million euros.
According to Unilever, Carver is now the fastest-growing skin-care business in South Korea via sales of its brand AHC, which markets antiaging, hydration and nourishment products. Its star product is called Eye Cream for Face, and AHC also offers essences, toners, moisturizers, masks and sun protection.
“It is an impressive business that is completely aligned to our personal-care strategy,” said Alan Jope, president of Unilever personal care, adding that the acquisition would significantly strengthen Unilever’s position in North Asia, the largest skin-care market in the world, and complement the existing portfolio.
“AHC has been strongly gaining popularity thanks to its efficacious, innovative and premium products, and it, therefore, offers great opportunities for growth.”
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, comes on the heels of a number of high-end deals for Unilever, including Hourglass Cosmetics — which it purchased in June for $250 and $300 million, Living Proof, and skin-care brands Murad, Kate Somerville and Ren.
Personal care is Unilever’s single largest division, with revenues in 2016 of 20.2 billion euros. Its food and refreshment divisions combined were 22.5 billion euros. Principals have said the focus will be on those two divisions as the company seeks to streamline operations and build sales and profits through acquisitions.