Beauty product manufacturers draw attention in M&A market

 Foreign visitors  look at Korea-made cosmetics products during a beauty and health care fair at COEX in Seoul, May 29. Yonhap

Manufacturers of beauty products are drawing attention in the M&A market as such products are increasingly more closely linked to medical care, information and communications technology (ICT), artificial intelligence (AI) and other fast growing industries, according to industry analysts, Tuesday.

Investment banking companies are especially eying the colored contact lens sector that has been growing at a steep pace.

According to Expert Market Research, a U.S. company which offers research reports and data on various industries, the international colored contact lens market is anticipated to grow 8.9 percent on average from 2024 to 2032.

The growth stems from the increased utilization of colored contact lenses in medical treatment. These lenses are employed to address issues such as color blindness, iris damage, and various other eye-related diseases and disorders.

Star Vision, the country’s No. 1 contact lens distributor, acquired a 49.7 percent stake in i-CODI, a contact lens manufacturer for cosmetic purpose, in early May.

“This case shows chances that are available for investment banking firms to step in and carry out M&As concerning beauty product manufacturers,” an industry source said.

For private equity funds (PEFs), they already have been involved in M&As of beauty product companies.

A top PEF in the country, Hahn & Company acquired a U.S.-based firm specializing in aesthetic and medical treatment in January.

A smaller PEF, Vision Equity Partners acquired a 7 percent stake in Vision Science by joining hands with KB Investment, an affiliate of KB 추천 Financial Group, in May.

Vision Science is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), a company that produces parts and equipment for another manufacturer.

Another analyst speculated that Korea’s push to find a new breakthrough in exports after heavily relying on China will further prompt M&As of beauty products manufacturers.

“By merging the knowhow and expertise of two or more companies, the involved parties can become more effective in exploring overseas markets,” the analyst said.

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