The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL) announced today that it has signed an agreement to purchase an interest in Have & Be Co. Ltd., the South Korean company behind skin care brands Dr. Jart+ and Do The Right Thing. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in December 2015.
Launched online in 2005 by ChinWook Lee, Dr. Jart+ is a Seoul-based, global high-growth skin care brand featuring quality and innovative products designed to address specific skin care needs. The brand’s unique fusion of dermatological science and art – as reflected in the brand name, which is inspired by the phrase “Doctor Joins Art” – appeals to a broad range of consumers, especially millennials. Dr. Jart+ is sold in many countries around the world, primarily in Asia and the United States, through various department stores, specialty-multi and e-commerce channels including Sephora.
“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Dr. Jart+,” said Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. “This investment gives our Company a strategic opportunity to develop a partnership with one of Korea’s most promising high-growth skin care brands. ChinWook Lee and his team have built a successful and exciting brand that is at the forefront of the rapidly expanding Korean beauty wave. We are pleased to partner with Mr. Lee and we look forward to building long-term, strategic relationship with the entire Dr. Jart+ team.”
“I am delighted to partner with The Estée Lauder Companies,” said ChinWook Lee, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Have & Be Co. Ltd. “As the Korean beauty wave continues to flourish globally, we are excited about the additional opportunities, support and guidance that The Estée Lauder Companies will bring to our brands. This is a tremendous moment for the Dr. Jart+ team and for the continued growth of Korean beauty.”
Since its founding, Dr. Jart+ has been a pioneer in the development and rapid proliferation of BB creams across the globe. Today, its iconic BB cream line is a consumer favorite. The brand also sells a robust range of innovative skin care products – including moisturizers, cleansers, masks and serums – designed to address the needs of specific skin types.
The Estée Lauder Companies’ investment also includes an interest in Do The Right Thing (DTRT), a men’s-focused skin care brand that fuses Korean innovation with a bold New York style. Founded by Mr. Lee in 2012, DTRT’s line of cleansers, lotions, moisturizers and serums are sold in Korea through various channels and in the United States through Sephora and BirchboxMan.
“Global consumers look to Korea as a trendsetting market in beauty, and the Dr. Jart+ brand is part of the reason why,” said William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. “Dr. Jart+ and The Estée Lauder Companies share an entrepreneurial heritage as well as a commitment to innovation and creativity. We have great respect for this brand, and we appreciate the opportunity to support and advise Mr. Lee and his team as they continue to grow Dr. Jart+ globally.”
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. received financial advice from BNP Paribas and legal counsel from Lowenstein Sandler LLP and Kim & Chang. Have & Be Co. Ltd. received financial advice from Michel Dyens & Co. and legal counsel from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP and Bae, Kim & Lee LLC.
The forward-looking statements in this press release, including those in the quoted remarks and those relating to the expectations for the investment in Have & Be Co. Ltd. involve risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those forward-looking statements include current economic and other conditions in the global marketplace, actions by retailers, suppliers and consumers, competition, the satisfaction of closing conditions, the ability of the parties to successfully partner, Have & Be’s ability to implement its long-term strategic plan, and those factors described in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2015.
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The Company’s products are sold in over 150 countries and territories under brand names including: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, Tommy Hilfiger, M•A•C, Kiton, La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Aveda, Jo Malone London, Bumble and bumble, Michael Kors, Darphin, GoodSkin Labs, Tom Ford, Ojon, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN, Osiao, Marni, Tory Burch, RODIN olio lusso, Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and GLAMGLOW.
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