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Kline Inspects Professional Skin Care for Its M&A Possibilities

Posted: November 14, 2013

In a new post on Kline Blogs, the market research company looks into recent M&A activity in the beauty industry, and particularly in the area of professional skin care. “L’Oréal Ventures Outside of the United States for Recent Professional Skin Care Acquisitions” surveys the current landscape and speculates on what might be ahead, saying, “The past few years were significant for M&A activity in many industries, with the professional skin care market being no exception. Given the recent surge in acquisitions of brands in this market, one wonders what attractive opportunities still exist.

“Since Kline started tracking this industry in the early 2000s, nearly all of the independent brands that target the physician dispense sector have been acquired, with the most substantial acquisitions occurring this year,” the post explains, noting acquisitions include P&G buying DDF (Doctor’s Dermatologic Formula), Target buying Dermstore.com, Merz buying Neocutis, Valeant buying Obagi Medical Products, Allergan buying SkinMedica and L’Oréal buying SkinCeuticals, as well as its pending acquisition of Decléor and Carita from Shiseido.

The post goes on, “However, there are still some noteworthy brands left, such as the top two leading spa/salon brands in the United States: Dermalogica and Murad. Both are privately owned with good worldwide distribution.

“Speaking of global, a world of opportunity truly beckons with L’Oréal having recently announced the acquisition of Mumbai-based Cheryl’s Cosmeceuticals, a professional skin care products and treatment company. With a distribution of 10,000 salons across India, Cheryl’s Cosmeceuticals becomes L’Oréal’s first acquisition in the country. Furthermore, the company is in talks to buy worldwide spa brand Decléor to help expand its presence in spas and salons, as well as Carita, a manufacturer of professional skin care products.

“Strong candidates may be found around the globe. Many do not realize that in regions such as Asia, local players account for the majority of sales. For example, in China—a leading market for professional skin care products—local brands claim 87% of market sales. Potential and attractive acquisitions here include Amitabha and Taiwan’s Chlitina, while the promising South Korean market offers very strong local brands that include CNP Laboratory and Dr. G.

“Attractive, Spain-based Natura Bissé is a brand with distribution in nearly 40 countries worldwide through an estimated 7,000 points of sale with affiliates in the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. While Spain, the United States, and Russia are the brand’s largest markets, Natura Bissé continues to grow its presence particularly in Asia and the Middle East.

“While many global brands are seeking to expand through acquisitions there are many local brands that are advantageously established in countries or regions we are yet to explore. These new markets display similar characteristics to those seen in China, South Korea, and Brazil that tipped reveal growth opportunities—a rich tourism industry, a growing middle class, and increasing Internet and mobile connectivity that exposes consumers to new products and creates organic demand,” the post concludes.