L'Oreal Acquires Chinese Cosmetics

2004-01-28

The Times

L'Oreal, the worlds largest cosmetics company, has made fresh inroads into China, clinching its second deal in less than two months.

The French maker of Lancome and Maybelline is buying Yue-Sai, a cosmetics company set up by Kan Yue-Sai, a Chinese-American entrepreneur and writer dubbed the Queen of the Middle Kingdom.  Details of the deal have not been disclosed, but Yue-Sai had sale of 38 million pounds last year.  It has been owned since 1996 by Coty, the perfume-maker controlled by John A Benckiser, the privately held German firm.

Yue-Sai employs more than 1,200 people and sells in more than 800 outlets in China.

L'Oreal recently acquired Mininurse, a Chinese cosmetics and skincare brand.  Lindsay Owen-Jones, chairman and chief executive of LOreal said: After Mininurse at the end of last year, this new acquisition confirms our determination to step up the pace of our growth in this strategic market. China is Asias second-biggest cosmetics market after Japan.

Miss Kan is chairman of Yue-Sai.  It is unclear whether she will stay at the company.

Born in China, but educated in America, she is a legendary figure in both countries, having authored three books and produced TV documentaries.

Miss Kan is famous for creating the Yue-Sai Wa Wa doll, an Asian alternative to the blue-eyed and blonde Western stereotype.

Go back