Croda acquires Solus Biotech to tap ceramide and phospholipid technologies

By Julia Wray | Published: 9-Feb-2023

Buying the South Korean company will enable Croda grow its Asia manufacturing capabilities

Croda is investing in ceramides and phospholipids by acquiring South Korea’s Solus Biotech.

The move is anticipated to significantly strengthen Croda’s beauty actives portfolio.

Solus Biotech will also boost Croda’s Asian manufacturing capability and will create a new biotechnology R&D hub in the region.  

The British chemicals giant bought the company from Solus Advanced Materials for Korean won KRW350bn (approximately US$278m) on a debt-free, cash-free basis.

According to Croda, access to its formulation capabilities will accelerate development of Solus’ formulated ceramides to address demand.

Solus also brings a portfolio of phospholipids, which are used in applications across beauty care and pharma.

“This is a strategic bullseye for Croda, consolidating our position as a global leader in supplying sustainable, natural actives for personal care across three critical technology platforms of peptides, ceramides and retinol,” said Steve Foots, Chief Executive of Croda.

“It significantly enhances our sustainable biotechnology capabilities and adds a North Asia manufacturing and innovation facility, providing a springboard to premium markets in Asia and beyond.

“I am especially excited about their brilliant technology, with Solus bringing rich IP and proprietary know-how that we will be able to deliver to customers globally.”

Ceramides: a trending cosmetic ingredient in 2023

Ceramides are a high growth market, especially for skin care and hair care, according to Croda: an opinion evidenced elsewhere in the beauty industry.

According to Trendalytics’ 2023 beauty forecast, its algorithm showed interest in ceramides grew 27% in 2022 on the prior year.  

The fatty acid is naturally produced by skin to prevent it from feeling dry and getting infected.

Chanel’s N°1 De Chanel Rich Revitalizing Cream, fresh’s Black Tea Advanced Age Renewal Cream and Lip Sleep – Balancium Ceramide Lip Butter Sleeping Mask from Cosrx are among the products launched in 2023 so far powered by ceramides.

Meanwhile, November saw Croda competitor Evonik begin the commercial production of ceramides at its factory in Dossenheim, Germany to keep up with growing demand for ceramides in the personal care market.

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