Unilever’s buying spree: roundup of latest beauty and personal care acquisitions

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Unilever’s buying spree: roundup of latest beauty and personal care acquisitions

Related tags Personal care Cosmetics

Unilever continued its strong levels of investment in the premium beauty and personal care segment throughout the past year: here, we provide a round up of the key acquisitions you need to know about.

Quala’s personal care and home care brands


In May 2017, Unilever announced its acquisition of the personal care and home care brands of Quala, a Latin American consumer goods company.

Quala has a presence in ten countries in Latin America, and its personal care and home care portfolio includes leading local brands Savital/Savilé (Haircare and Skin Cleansing), eGo (Male Haircare and Styling), Bio-Expert (Haircare) and more, with a combined turnover of over USD 400M in 2016.

Paul Polman, CEO Unilever, said: “The inclusion of these brands in our stable will consolidate our leading position in Haircare globally, and contribute to our Oral Care and Male Grooming businesses, complementing very well our existing offering.​”



In June, Unilever bought luxury colour cosmetics brand Hourglass, in a move that confirmed perhaps more so than any other that it is serious about courting consumers interested in higher end beauty.

Alan Jope, President Personal Care, Unilever, said, “We are delighted to be adding Hourglass to our portfolio of Prestige brands.

“The colour cosmetics category has been showing high growth-rates, driven by social media content, channel diversity and democratisation of professional makeup techniques, and it therefore presents a significant opportunity.

“Hourglass is already a successful brand in this space, offering fantastic make-up products that also deliver skin care benefits, and we look forward to continuing to grow this wonderful brand.”

Carver Korea


In September, the multinational announced it was tapping into the enthusiasm for k-beauty, and acquired Carver Korea.

A leading skincare business in North Asia, Carver Korea delivered sales of €321m and EBITDA of €137m in 2016. Unilever says the brand has shown “exponential growth over the last five years​”.

Jope said “It will significantly strengthen our position in North Asia, the largest skincare market in the world; and will complement our existing portfolio, enabling us to offer luxury skincare products at attainable price points​.”

Sundial brands


In November, the company bought this US personal care products company in a bid to attract ‘multicultural and millennial consumers’.

The Sundial team has built differentiated and on-trend premium brands serving multicultural and millennial consumers that enhance our existing portfolio​,” said Kees Kruythoff, President, Unilever North America.

Sundial is an important addition to our U.S. portfolio of purpose-driven companies, which includes Ben & Jerry’s and Seventh Generation​.”

Schmidt’s Naturals


Finally, in December, Unilever acquired another US company in Schmit’s Naturals, which is a personal care player based in Oregon.

Schmidt’s Naturals is a strong, innovative brand in the fast-growing natural category, and nicely complements our existing portfolio of US deodorants which includes leading brands Degree, Axe and Dove​,” said Kees Kruythoff, President, Unilever North America.

The brand’s focus on transparency and mission to make natural products accessible to everyone aligns closely with Unilever values.​”

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