NEW YORK, United States — Estée Lauder Cos. agreed to buy the two-thirds of Have & Be Co., the South Korean owner of Dr. Jart+ cosmetics, that it didn’t already own for about $1.1 billion, its first acquisition of an Asian beauty brand.
Founded in 2005 in Seoul, Dr. Jart+ sells moisturisers, masks, cleansers and serums under names like Cicapair and Ceramidin and will draw revenue of more than $500 million this year, Estée Lauder said in a statement Monday.
Estée Lauder cut its earnings outlook late last month, citing a volatile geopolitical environment. Dr. Jart+ will help expand the company’s consumer reach in the Asia-Pacific region as well as in travel retail, according to the New York-based cosmetics giant. It would rank in the top 10 largest brands owned by Estée Lauder. Tom Ford, Jo Malone, Bobbi Brown and Aveda each do between $500 million and $1 billion in annual sales, the company said at a shareholder meeting last week.
Across the industry, executives are trying to revive sales in the US by targeting younger shoppers and acquiring hot brands. Estée Lauder’s has added Too Faced and Becca, among others, to its stable. While the cosmetics giant was among final bidders for the millennial and Gen-Z skincare brand Drunk Elephant, according to Women’s Wear Daily, but lost out to Japan’s Shiseido Co.
Have & Be also owns the men’s grooming brand Do The Right Thing. Estée Lauder first bought a stake in the company at the end of 2015. The current transaction is expected to close next month. Have & Be’s enterprise value is about $1.7 billion, Estée Lauder said, without providing other financial details. It plans to fund the purchase with debt.
Perella Weinberg Partners LP served as financial adviser to Estée Lauder, while Lowenstein Sandler LLP and Kim & Chang served as legal counsel. Have & Be was advised by Michel Dyens & Co. while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP as well as Bae, Kim & Lee LLC served as its legal counsel.
By Marthe Fourcade and Kim Bhasin; editors: Eric Pfanner, John Lauerman and Lisa Wolfson.