Rocher group buys Israeli toiletries label Sabon, and consolidates in Romania and Hong Kong

The French Rocher group, owner among others of cosmetics labels Yves Rocher and Dr Pierre Ricaud, and of childrenswear label Petit Bateau, is keen to step up the pace of its international expansion, and has acquired a majority interest in Israeli toiletries chain Sabon. The Israeli brand was founded in 1997 by Sigal Kotler-Levi and Avi Piatok, and specialises in body care products.

The festive collection -Sabon - Sabon
According to Israeli media, Rocher has bought 66% of the Israeli company for $129 million. Sabon's two founders will remain at the helm of the company, which employs over 480 people and operates 175 directly owned and franchised stores in 14 countries, among them 40 stores in Israel, 40 in Japan, 17 in the USA and 13 in France.

"Sabon's strong presence in Japan is complementary to that of Petit Bateau, for which Japan is the second-largest subsidiary, and will lead the country to 7th place among the group's branches in revenue terms," stated Bris Rocher, the group's CEO, in a press release. 

At the same time, the Rocher group has announced the acquisition of its Romanian distributor (Cosmétiques de France) and its Hong Kong distributor (Yes Green). "The Rocher group is actively pursuing a strategy of international expansion, after becoming independent from [French pharma giant] Sanofi in July 2012, and having brought the share of its long-standing mail order business, once the group's main source of revenue, down to less than 25%," stated the group, whose founder's family still owns over 99% of Rocher's capital.

In 2015 the Rocher group, which employs 16,000 people worldwide, generated a revenue of €2.056 billion. The group is present in 110 countries, and 62% of its sales come from exports (45% from Europe, 3% from North America, 5% from South America, 5% from the Middle East and 3% from Asia).

Translated by Nicola Mira

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