L’Oréal acquires the American brand Skinbetter Science

(AOF) – L’Oréal has signed an agreement to acquire Skinbetter Science, “American skincare brand at the forefront of dermatological research”. It achieved sales of more than $95 million over the rolling twelve months to July 31, 2022. “The brand’s growth is one of the strongest among prescribed skincare brands in the United States”, specifies the French firm.

Skinbetter Science products are primarily prescribed by a network of top dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aesthetic physicians in the United States and distributed by a nationwide medical team.

The current management team will continue to manage the business from the headquarters in Arizona, under the supervision of Christina Fair, president of the Active Cosmetics Division of L’Oréal USA.

This acquisition is expected to close in early Q4 2022, subject to customary regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

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Key points

– World leader in cosmetics, created in 1909;

– Group organized into 5 divisions generating €32.3 billion in sales: luxury for 40%, consumer products for 42%, active cosmetics for 12% and professional products;

– Powerful international position, with 35 global brands and balanced revenues between Europe (32%), North Asia (31%), North America (25%) and the rest of the world;

– Business model based on 5 pillars: high R&D around 800 Ms€, innovation contributing to 15% of annual sales, release of new products between 15 and 20% per year, positioning in “premium” products, brands global and focus on e-commerce;

– Capital characterized by the strong positions of the Bettancourt and Meyers families -34.7%- and of Nestlé -20%-, Jean-Paul Agon chairs the board of directors of 16 members, Nicolas Hieronimus being managing director;

– Exceptionally healthy balance sheet, with €3.6 billion in debt compared to €23.6 billion in equity.

Challenges

– Average annual growth above 5% of the world beauty market, driven by the enrichment of the populations of emerging countries and their aging in the OECD;

– Innovation strategy aimed at making the group the leader in “Beauty Tech”; 3.3% of revenues invested in research & innovation, approximately 500 patents filed per year by 21 research centers / focus on digital, reinforced by acquisitions (ModiFace, leader in augmented reality and artificial intelligence), by equity investments in start-ups with the BOLD fund and partnerships with GAFAM, Alibaba and Tencent, Verily (skin ageing) / integration of sustainability criteria into products;

– “L’Oréal for the future” environmental strategy: transformation of the business model within planetary limits: carbon neutrality of sites by 2025 and, by 2030, all plastic packaging of recycled or biosourced origin and 50% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to 2018 for each finished product / contribution of €150 million to solidarity actions for vulnerable women and environmental protection (regeneration and biodiversity) / display of the social impact and product environment;

– Ability to generate high operational self-financing -€5.6 billion;

– Integration of the Californian Youth to the people;

– History of sales growth above the market for 13 years and reinforced by digital, at 29% of turnover.

Challenges

– Long-term evolution of the 8% stake in Sanofi;

– Impact of the Russia-Ukraine war: closure of e-commerce sites and stores and maintenance of the production plant in Moscow, 2% of sales coming from Russia;

– 2022 objective of market outperformance and growth in sales and profit;

– 2021 dividend of €4.8 and towards a cancellation of the 4% of shares repurchased from Nestlé.

The axis of sustainable development now a priority

This is one of the strongest expectations of customers aged 25 to 40, who represent a growing proportion of sales. This also represents an advantage in recruitment for major luxury brands. LVMH, Fendi, Imperial College London and Central Saint Martins UAL have teamed up on a two-year research project to develop new biotextiles for fur in the sector. Recently the manifesto for a regenerative fashion, developed in partnership with the Alliance for the circular bioeconomy (CBA) was signed by Burberry, Chloé, Stella McCartney, or Armani. As for Kering, it has developed a tool that measures its CO2 emissions, water consumption and land use throughout the supply chain.

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L’Oréal acquires the American brand Skinbetter Science


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