The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is investing in K-beauty.
The cosmetics giant has announced the imminent acquisition of Have & Be Co. Ltd., the Seoul-based, skincare company behind the cult beauty brand Dr. Jart+ (the company also owns the men's grooming brand Do The Right Thing).
The deal, which is expected to close next month, marks Estée Lauder's first acquisition of an Asia-based business. However, the two companies are used to working together -- Estée Lauder made a minority investment in Have & Be back in 2015, but will now acquire the remaining two thirds of the Korean business.
"As the Company's first acquisition of an Asia-based beauty brand, Dr. Jart+'s focus on creating high-quality skin care products that fuse dermatological science, incredible innovation capabilities and artistic expression make it a terrific, strategic addition to our diverse portfolio of prestige beauty brands," said Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., in a statement. "We look forward to continued global growth in the years to come."
"The entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of Dr. Jart+ is a perfect fit for The Estée Lauder Companies," added William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. "As consumers increasingly focus on skin care and the category continues its rapid global growth, the influence of cutting-edge, scientifically-driven brands like Dr. Jart+ is undeniable."
Dr. Jart+, which is expected to reach more than $500 million in net sales over 2019, has experienced major growth over the past few years. Since it was founded by CEO ChinWook Lee in 2005, it has gained a cult following among beauty-lovers for its high-performance moisturizers, masks, cleansers and serums. The brand is currently sold in stores or online in more than 35 countries globally.