Unilever to Buy Carver Korea for 3 Trillion Won

The growing trend of K-beauty Korean women hold the record for most cosmetic products used in a day- Source PA Images

"Unilever continues to build a portfolio of niche brands in premium beauty to capture opportunities in high-margin dynamic categories", said Ildiko Szalai, an analyst at Euromonitor International.

Carver Korea's AHC brand, pictured here, will be acquired by Unilever. "It will significantly strengthen our position in North Asia, the largest skincare market in the world".

Founded in 1999, Carver, which produces moisturisers, face masks and sun creams, was bought by Goldman Sachs and Bain Capital a year ago, when it reported revenues of €321m, nearly three times as high as in the previous 12 months.

Jope said the purchase will enable Unilever to "offer luxury skincare products at attainable price points". "They also bring us disruptive business models and business styles that are entrepreneurial, helping transform our business culture". The division collected €20.2 billion in revenue a year ago, or about 38 percent of the conglomerate's overall sales.

"So-called "K-Beauty" has become shorthand in the industry for beauty products which are driven by unusual natural ingredients, such as snail gel, volcanic ash and green tea", explains Ashley Armstrong for the Telegraph.

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There are, no doubt, a few investment bankers walking around with their chok-chok glowing this morning.

Meanwhile, Unilever's acquisition of Carver Korea has set a new record for the largest merger and acquisition of domestic consumer goods, surpassing LG Household & Health Care's merger and acquisition of The Face Shop in 2010 for 446.7 billion won (US$402 million). In 2015, Carver posted total sales of about $130 million.

Unilever paid €2.27bn for its stake in Carver, a fast-growing skincare business which reported a threefold increase in revenues a year ago to €321m. "Based on that figure, Unilever paid 16.6 times EBITDA, in line with home and personal care deals over the past decade". Unilever also took over a 35 percent stake from founder Lee Sang-rok.

South Korean cosmetics companies had robust growth in past years, helped by strong Chinese demand, which has weakened recently amid geopolitical disputes in the region.

And the return sure beats that of an 18-month CD.

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