SEOUL, July 18, 2016 – Carver Korea (“Carver”) a leading Korean cosmetics company announced today that Bain Capital Private Equity, a global private equity firm, and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), a leading global investment bank and active investor in Korea, have agreed to acquire a majority stake in the company from existing shareholders. Carver’s founder and Chairman Mr. Lee Sang-rok will continue to hold a minority stake in the company and participate in day-to-day management. The new funds will foster further domestic growth and stimulate overseas expansion. This transaction marks Bain Capital Private Equity’s first investment in Korea.
Founded in 1999 as a specialty cosmetics supplier to aesthetic salons, Carver is one of the leading companies at the forefront of today’s global demand for “K-Beauty,” an umbrella term for the variety of beauty products from Korea exported around the world. The company has an established a skincare product portfolio which combines beauty with science to compete in the most lucrative segments of the global cosmetics industry, such as eye creams, essences and toners. Its portfolio of beauty product brands include its flagship skincare line A.H.C (Aesthetic Hydration Cosmetics) which is promoted by a number of Korea’s most popular celebrities. Carver currently sells approximately 1,000 different cosmetics products in Korea, China and the United States through diversified distribution channels, including home shopping television networks, retail stores, duty free shops, beauty salons, skincare clinics and internet commerce.
The Korean beauty industry has been growing rapidly as international demand for the country’s domestic brands continues to increase. This is especially the case in mainland China, the largest and fastest growing beauty market in the world according to Euromonitor. Since 2011, according to the Korea International Trade Association, the average revenue of Korean cosmetics exports to China has grown annually at a CAGR of more than 50 percent and, by country of origin, today Korea is the second-largest exporter of cosmetics to China after France.
As of May 2016, Carver has exceeded its total sales of 150 billion won (approximately US$130 million) recorded for 2015. This represents a growth in sales of more than 200 percent compared to the previous period year on year.
Jonathan Zhu, a managing director at Bain Capital Private Equity, 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.”
Jeff Hyun Seok Kim, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, said “Korea is home to one of the 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.”
Bain Capital Private Equity’s proven operational expertise and globally integrated platform will help to accelerate Carver's global ambitions, enabling it to access increasing demand in markets including the United States, China and Southeast Asia. Bain Capital Private Equity has extensive global experience in consumer industries, across multiple sub-sectors including retail, dining, leisure, as well as personal care products through its investment in Sundial Brands.
Goldman Sachs is one of the largest and most experienced foreign investors in Korea with the total amount of investment exceeding US$2.5 billion since 1999.
About Carver Korea
Founded in 1999, Carver Korea (http://www.hydration.co.kr/) is a Korean cosmetics company that owns a number of brands including A.H.C (Aesthetic Hydration Cosmetics), Shara, and Vivito spanning sectors including skincare, make-up and fashion. The company has an established skincare products portfolio of more than 1,000 products which combines beauty with science to compete in some of the most lucrative segments of the cosmetics industry, such as eye creams, essences, and toners. Carver Korea first gained recognition for its quality through its sales at dermatology and skin care beauty salons. Currently, the company’s cosmetic brands are offered to consumers through various channels, including home shopping television networks, retail stores, duty free shops, beauty salons, skincare clinics and Internet commerce.
About Bain Capital Private Equity
Bain Capital Private Equity (www.baincapitalprivateequity.com) has partnered closely with management teams to provide the strategic resources that build great companies and help them thrive since our founding in 1984. Our team of more than 400 investment professionals creates value for our portfolio companies through our global platform and depth of expertise in key vertical industries including consumer/retail, financial and business services, healthcare, industrials, and technology, media and telecommunications. In addition to private equity, Bain Capital invests across asset classes including credit, public equity and venture capital, and leverages the firm’s shared platform to capture opportunities in strategic areas of focus.
About Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a global financial services company that offers a broad range of financial services in various areas such as investment banking, securities and investment management to corporates, financial institutions, governments and individuals. Founded in 1869 and based in New York, The Goldman Sachs Group maintains branch offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other key financial centers around the globe.