Murad next to join Unilever family in skin care drive

Fourth premium skin care company to be bought by Anglo-Dutch consumer giant

Unilever is on a roll. Just eight days after the announcement of its last acquisition, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant has bought again – this time, US skin care brand Murad.

Just last week Unilever revealed its intention to buy professional skin care brand Dermalogica for an undisclosed sum, while in May the company announced its takeover of Kate Somerville Skincare. In March this year, it snapped up UK skin care brand REN.

What links all of Unilever’s latest acquisitions is the strong positioning of the brands in the premium skin care category, a sector Unilever is aggressively pushing into.

Paul Polman, CEO at Unilever, said: “We are delighted to welcome Murad to our portfolio of prestige personal care brands. As an expert ‘Doctor brand’, Murad offers products in a differentiated clinical and holistic well-being segment. It has a loyal following that gives it excellent potential for expansion and wonderfully complements the brands recently acquired. We look forward to working with Dr Murad and his team to continue to grow the brand.”

Murad was founded in 1989 in Los Angeles, US, by Dr Howard Murad, a dermatologist, pharmacist and professor at UCLA. The brand has grown dramatically over the past decade, and has recently been unifying its business components. Just last year, it acquired the UK joint venture to create its first affiliate outside the US. The brand generated a turnover of US$115m in 2014.

Dr Howard Murad added: “We’ve always looked for opportunities to reach more people with our message of inclusive health and to touch more lives with our targeted, high-performance products. With Unilever, we can broaden our reach and significantly grow our brand while remaining faithful to the founding principles of Murad. There is a very bright path ahead and I am excited to work with Unilever to share our products with the world. Together, we can inspire every person that the Murad brand touches to live life beautifully.”

Murad will be incorporated into Unilever’s Prestige division, which the company said is “exclusively dedicated to select distribution and premium personal care brands”.

Companies