Markets

Unilever to Buy Carver Korea for 3 Trillion Won

Unilever to Buy Carver Korea for 3 Trillion Won

Bain and Goldman Sachs had jointly bought around 60 per cent stake in Carver Korea a year ago for around $500 million.

Founded in 1999, Carver Korea is known for its signature brand AHC under which it makes products for age management, hydration and nourishment.

"Unilever continues to build a portfolio of niche brands in premium beauty to capture opportunities in high-margin dynamic categories", said Ildiko Szalai, analyst at Euromonitor International, which says the South Korean beauty and personal care market has grown faster than the global average over the past five years.

Bain and Goldman Sachs jointly bought a roughly 60 per cent majority stake in Carver for around $500 million past year, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

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In this photo provided by AHC, cosmetics brand under Carver Korea, South Korean actress Lee Bo-young poses for a photo in front of a photo wall in Seoul on September 5, 2017.

The deal is the biggest in the history of South Korea's cosmetics industry. AHC's products also include moisturizers, toners and sun protection. Unilever had posted steady growth in China since entering the market in 1986, but sales there saw a deep plunge in the second half of past year. "The region is a melting pot compared with China and Korea". Its operating profit jumped to 180 billion won, from 48.3 billion won, during the same period.

"Alan Jope, president of personal care division at Unilever, said the Carver transaction would 'significantly strengthen our position in North Asia, the largest skincare market in the world, '" write Naomi Rovnick, Scheherazade Daneshkhu and Song Jung-a for Financial Times. South Korea is also the world's fourth-largest market for skin care. "Carver has a very strong position in this space, and it will therefore strengthen Unilever's expertise in the Asian beauty market".

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