Estée Lauder buys minority stake in Chinese brand Code Mint
US cosmetics group Estée Lauder has made a move on the Chinese beauty market by investing in local skincare and make-up brand Code Mint.
Estée Lauder bought a minority stake in Code Mint, for an undisclosed amount, via New Incubation Ventures (NIV), the US group's investment vehicle, which has notably acquired a stake in British skincare brand Haeckels and, more recently, in perfume brand Vyrao. This is NIV’s first investment in China.
Code Mint was launched in early 2021 and is owned by Hangzhou Jianfa Meixue Technology, a company founded by Chinese influencer Grace Chow, who has more than 2.2 million followers on Instagram and over 11 million on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
According to Chinese media, NIV made the investment several months ago, but Estée Lauder only formalised it last week, via a post on NIV’s Instagram account.
The Chinese beauty market, which is growing at an average annual rate of 12.3% and is expected to be worth €49 billion in 2024, is highly coveted by many global industry players. A year ago L’Oréal invested in Chinese fragrance brand Documents.
Meanwhile, Estée Lauder has turned its attention towards another buoyant beauty market, India. The US cosmetics group has joined forces with Indian company Nykaa, a specialist in beauty e-tail, to launch Beauty & You India, a programme aimed at helping emerging Indian beauty brands and entrepreneurs develop their projects. A few days ago, Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido launched its Nars brand in India.
Contacted by FashionNetwork.com, the Estée Lauder group has not yet responded.
In the 2022-23 financial year, closed on June 30, Estée Lauder’s revenue fell by 10% to $15.91 billion, impacted notably by the Chinese market’s slow recovery.
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