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EXTRA: Unilever Forays Into "K-Beauty" With Purchase Of Carver Korea

EXTRA: Unilever Forays Into

Chinese tourists have been big buyers of South Korean cosmetics but China this year banned group tours to the country over Seoul's decision to deploy an anti-missile system to counter North Korean threats.

South Korea alone is the fourth-largest skincare market in the world, with beauty products based on natural ingredients such snail gel, volcanic ash and green tea developing into a staple of the country's cosmetic market. The brand includes what Unilever described as its "hero" product, "Eye Cream for Face", as well as moisturisers, masks and sun protection.

Meanwhile, the rising popularity of K-beauty, which involves elaborate therapies and lotions for the creation of facial and skin care regimens, is spreading quickly around the world, particularly in the United States and China.

Unilever PLC UL, -0.38% said Monday it has agreed to acquire skincare business Carver Korea for 2.27 billion euros ($2.7 billion) from Bain Capital Private Equity and Goldman Sachs GS, -0.11%.

Anglo-Dutch food and consumer products giant Unilever said Monday it was buying a leading South Korean cosmetics and skincare company for 2.27 billion euros ($2.69 billion), seeking to boost its Asian presence.

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The deal delivers a whopping profit for the two global investment companies which purchased a 60-percent stake in Carver Korea for 430 billion won ($397 million) in June a year ago.

ING maintained its buy rating and €62 price target on the stock, which represented a near 21% premium on Friday's closing price.

The term "K-Beauty" (meaning Korean Beauty) is becoming a "globally-used shorthand for sophisticated skincare that is widely exported", Unilever asserted.

Carver Korea has become the fastest-growing skin care business in South Korea thanks to its AHC brand, and delivered sales of €321 million and EBIDTA of €137 million in 2016.

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