• Reuters


U.S. health care conglomerate Johnson & Johnson said on Tuesday it will buy all outstanding shares of Japanese skin care firm Ci:z Holdings Co. that it does not already own for ¥230 billion ($2.05 billion) in cash.

J&J is betting the deal — which will give it ownership of popular brands such as Dr.Ci:Labo, Labo Labo and Genomer — will help it strengthen its international innovation pipeline.

The purchase adds to a flurry of cosmetics deals in Asia in recent years, as global brands seek to expand in a booming region that includes the $53.5 billion Chinese market by leveraging Asian brands’ smart online marketing and fast turnaround times for new products.

France’s L’Oreal SA agreed to buy South Korean makeup and fashion firm Nanda in May, and Unilever NV bought cosmetics firm Carver Korea for $2.7 billion last year. LVMH and Estee Lauder Companies Inc. have also invested in South Korean cosmetics firms.

The U.S. giant will pay ¥5,900 per Ci:z share, a 55 percent premium over Tuesday’s closing price, and also acquire the shares owned by the firm’s founder, Yoshinori Shirono, J&J said in a statement.

CIC Corp., the founder’s ownership vehicle, is the biggest shareholder of the dermatological cosmetics specialist with a 27.96 percent interest, Refinitiv data showed.

J&J is the second-largest shareholder, owning 19.9 percent through an affiliate since 2016, allowing it to distribute Ci:z’s brands outside of Japan. J&J expects the full acquisition will help it leverage the large consumer database of the collagen gel and medical skin products maker.

“This transaction will maximize value creation … by bringing in an agile innovation model and rapidly accelerating sales through our global commercialization expertise,” Jorge Mesquita, worldwide chairman at Johnson & Johnson’s consumer division, said in the statement.

J&J, which has been selling businesses such as its diabetes care devices component to focus on better-performing units and product development, plans to launch the tender offer on Oct. 29.

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