Goldman Sachs and Bain invest in Carver Korea

Investors acquire a majority stake in Korean cosmetics firm

Goldman Sachs and Bain Capital have acquired a majority stake in Korean cosmetics company Carver Korea. The details of the deal have not been disclosed, but the investors are thought to have agreed to pay more than $307.45m to secure the majority.

The transaction marks the first time that Bain has invested in Korea and comes at a time when there is growing interest for cosmetics and skin care products from the region in the US and Europe. Carver Cosmetics’s portfolio includes skin care range A.H.C., which stands for Aesthetic Hydration Cosmetics. Carver has around 1,000 different products sold in the US, China and Korea through TV networks, retail stores, duty free, salons, clinics and online.

In a joint statement, the two companies said that Founder and Chairman Lee Sang-rok, who previously held 60.2% of shares in Carver Korea, will retain a minority stake. He is also expected to continue managing the company’s day-to-day activities. The funds are expected to be used to further growth both domestically and overseas.

Jeff Hyun Seok Kum, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, explained: “Korea is home to one of the world’s most sophisticated cosmetics markets in the world and the global demand for the country’s beauty products is reaching new heights. Our investment in Carver’s innovative and talented founder and management team exemplifies Goldman Sachs’ aim to partner with Korean corporate leaders who are able to develop and offer world-class products.”

Korean beauty products are increasingly popular across the world, with China only importing more from France. In May 2016, Carver reported total sales of more than $130m – a 200% growth on the same period in the previous year.

Jonathan Zhu, Managing Director at Bain, said: “Korea is a very attractive market with many innovative and globally competitive companies. We have been building Korean expertise into our Asia team and looking for investment opportunities. Carver Korea has an attractive portfolio of brands and significant opportunities for growth both domestically and internationally.”

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