Unilever (LON:ULVR) has inked a deal to buy skincare business Carver Korea, the Anglo-Dutch company has said. The €2.27-billion (£2 billion) acquisition comes as the consumer goods giant looks to secure a stronger foothold in South Korea’s skincare market.
Unilever’s share price has been little changed in London this morning, having climbed 0.19 percent to 4,272.00p as of 10:29 BST. The stock is outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having slipped into negative territory and currently standing 0.24 percent lower at 7,292.76 points. The group’s shares have added more than 17 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by just under 30 percent in the year-to-date.
Unilever announced in a statement today that it had agreed to acquire skincare business Carver Korea for €2.27 billion, from Bain Capital Private Equity and Goldman Sachs. The Anglo-Dutch group noted in the statement that the business has become the fastest-growing skincare business in South Korea, through sales of its brand AHC. The FTSE 100 group further notes that South Korea is the fourth-largest skincare market in the world, as well as a source of global beauty trends, with the term ‘K-Beauty’ becoming a globally-used shorthand for sophisticated skincare that is widely exported.
Martin Deboo, an analyst at Jefferies, told Bloomberg that while the price Unilever was paying seemed ‘superficially high,’ the deal made sense strategically.
“It’s right at the top-end of what Unilever’s paid for things but it’s pretty profitable and 35 percent of the sales go to China, so they’re acquiring right in the heartland of current beauty trends,” the analyst pointed out.
The deal comes after Unilever recently snapped up an organic herbal tea business in an effort to boost its presence in what is estimated to be a €1.6-billion market.