Clifford Chance has represented Unilever on its $2.71 billion purchase of Carver Korea, a maker of facial masks and skincare products, from its founder, Goldman Sachs, and Bain Capital, which tapped Ropes & Gray for advice.
Two Korean firms were also involved in the deal, serving as local counsel: Bae, Kim & Lee acted for Unilever while Kim & Chang advised Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs.
According to Reuters, the acquisition gives Unilever what it said is the fastest-growing skincare business in South Korea through its AHC brand of anti-ageing creams, moisturisers and other related products. The global conglomerate also gains a strong foothold in North Asia, the world’s largest skincare market, via Carver.
The deal comes amid political tensions between China and South Korea, which have dented earnings of many South Korean beauty businesses, reported Reuters. Chinese tourists have been big buyers of South Korean cosmetics, but China this year banned group tours to the country over Seoul’s decision to deploy an anti-missile system to counter North Korean threats.
The Ropes team was led by Seoul partner Jaewoo Lee and Boston partner William Mone.