Skincare deal gives fresh face to L'Oréal in US

French cosmetics giant L'Oréal said Tuesday it had agreed to buy three leading skincare brands from Valeant for $1.3 billion in a move set to give its US offering a facelift.

The acquisition expands the group's presence in the United States and builds on its purchase last summer of the US brand IT Cosmetics for $1.2 billion.


AcneFree is one of a trio of brands bought by L'Oréal


The cash deal will see L'Oréal acquiring the CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi brands from the Quebec-based pharmaceutical firm in a purchase it said would nearly double the US sales of its active cosmetics division which focuses on aesthetic dermatology.

"The acquisition of CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi strongly complement L'Oréal's brand portfolio," said Frederic Roze, president and chief executive of L'Oreal USA in a statement.

"These three brands, built on strong relationships with health professionals and widely distributed, will nearly double the revenue of our Active Cosmetics Division in the US and will help us satisfy the growing demand for active skincare at accessible prices."

The Active division includes dermocosmetic brands such as La Roche-Posay, Vichy and SkinCeuticals.

Founded in 2005, CeraVe offers a range of skincare products including cleansers, moisturisers and sunscreens as well as a baby line.

It is one of the fastest growing skincare brands in the US with an average growth over the past two years of over 20 percent, L'Oréal said.

Its sales have enjoyed "a favourable dynamic" driven by consumers looking for products endorsed by health professionals for their effectiveness for sensitive skin, Active division president Brigitte Liberman told AFP.

Predominantly sold in the US, the brand's dynamism and its potential on the international market justified the high price paid by L'Oréal, she said.

AcneFree provides acne treatments and Ambi offers products for multicultural consumers.

The acquisition expands the firm's footprint in the United States where the demand for beauty products is flourishing: in the first nine months of 2016, L'Oréal's North American sales grew 5.4 percent compared with just 0.1 in western Europe.

Over the years, North America has become L'Oreal's most important division, accounting for 27 percent of its overall sales.

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