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Hair care firm to buy Kanebo spin-off for $261m, say sources

By Guy Montague-Jones , 23-Jun-2009

Hair colour maker Hoyu is set to buy a controlling stake in former Kanebo spin-off company Kracie Holdings for about 25 billion yen ($261m), according to press reports.

Kracie is a manufacturer of food, toiletries and drugs that is currently owned by Japanese private equity firms Advantage Partners, Unison Capital and MKS Partners.

They are now selling a 60 percent stake in Kracie Holdings to Hoyu Co, reported Reuters and Bloomberg, citing the Nikkei business daily as their source.

Cosmetics and toiletries division

Kracie has a large cosmetics and toiletries division with sales totaling 36 billion yen, according to its website. The company also has a particularly strong presence in hair care with a product range that includes shampoos, conditioners, hair colour and styling items. Its brands in the hair care segment include Ichikami, Umino Uruoi-So, Prostyle, Silk, Resche, and Naive.

Japanese hair specialist Hoyu, which has more than 100 years of trading experience, will now be selling its products under the same umbrella, if the acquisition deal goes ahead.

Financial history

Advantage Partners, Unison Capital and MKS Partners had bought Kracie in 2006 for about 43 billion yen. Reuters said its sources had revealed in November that of the three firms, MKS Partners has been hit by the financial crisis, prompting it to stop new investments and focus on selling its portfolio.

The private equity firms had acquired a 100 per cent stake in Kracie after the company was spun off from Kanebo, a cosmetics and household goods specialist that was delisted because of accounting fraud and then acquired in a state-backed bailout in 2004.

The Kanebo brand was then sold to Kao, Japan’s largest toiletries manufacturer.

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