Shiseido looks to Europe and US for acquisitions
In the first half of 2021, 30% of Japanese cosmetics conglomerate Shiseido's sales were generated by China, the company's largest market. Indeed, having worked the whole world into a cold sweat during the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, Chinese consumption has seen a strong recovery, led by the country's dynamic middle class. In 2021, the Chinese cosmetics market is estimated to be worth $34.6 billion euros and is expected to see average annual growth of 12.3% over the next three years, ultimately reaching 49 billion euros. What's more, aside from the strong growth currently being seen by Shiseido on its home market, Masahiko Uotani, the company's CEO, has said that he is also counting on the return of Chinese tourists in Japan starting next summer.
But despite the fact China is attracting more beauty companies than ever, the coronavirus crisis has highlighted the fact that being completely dependent on the market is a risky strategy. And so Shiseido's chief executive has told the Financial Times that the group is planning to make acquisitions of skincare brands on other markets, notably in Europe and the United States. The company is also apparently looking to India and Africa.
"We believe the longer-term potential is extremely high in China and we will firmly capture this opportunity. But as our dependence increases, there will be questions on contingency and portfolio management, so we want to strengthen our efforts even further in the US and Europe," Uotani told the Financial Times.
The announcement of this diversification strategy comes as Shiseido, whose 2020 financial results were strongly affected by the health crisis, continues to implement a major restructuring process brought in by the company over the last few months with the intention of focusing its efforts on the skincare segment.
In February, the Japanese beauty giant signed a deal with CVC to sell the investment fund its personal care business for 160 billion yen (1.3 billion euros). At the end of August, it was the turn of the Buxom, BareMinerals and Laura Mercier brands to be sold, this time to AI Beauty Holding Limited, a structure founded by Advent International, for $700 million.
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