Japanese multinational Kao Corporation has acquired iconic Australian tanning and skincare brand Bondi Sands in a deal rumoured to be worth $450 million.

 Bondi Sands, founded in Melbourne in 2012, has quickly become the leading self-tanning brand in Australia and beyond, selling its products in over 32 countries, including the US and the UK.

With a 55 per cent market share in Australia, the brand is set to achieve over $190 million in total revenue for CY23. The company’s SPF range has been growing impressively at a rate of 100 per cent year over year, making it the fastest-growing SPF brand in both Australia and the UK since its introduction in 2017.

The company is on track to produce a staggering 18 million units in 2023 alone, and with a strong foothold in the North American and European markets, Bondi Sands has experienced rapid year-on-year growth of 39 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively, in these regions.

Currently, its products are available in over 40,000 stores worldwide, and soon, they will make their debut in more than 4,000 Walmart locations.

Shaun Wilson, CEO and co-founder of Bondi Sands, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with Kao Corporation, highlighting the potential for growth and expansion into untapped markets.

“The integration of Kao’s renowned scientific and technological resources into our operations is an unparalleled opportunity that will significantly contribute to the exponential growth of our brand, empowering us to further expand our product offerings and advance our research and development initiatives,” Wilson said in a statement issued by Kao.

“With this partnership, we can now confidently explore untapped markets, reach more customers around the world and continue to fulfill our company mission.”

Kao Corporation, established in 1887 in Tokyo, owns well-known skincare and haircare brands such as Biore, Jergens, Oribe, and KMS.

The addition of Bondi Sands to Kao’s consumer family of brands aligns with the company’s focus on skincare as a medium-term growth driver, particularly in skin protection and suncare products.

The acquisition will allow Bondi Sands to continue its manufacturing in Melbourne while benefiting from the global reach and expertise of Kao Corporation.

 With access to Kao’s extensive distribution network, Bondi Sands aims to reach more customers worldwide.

Despite facing some challenges, including a class-action lawsuit in the US over alleged greenwashing of its sunscreens, Bondi Sands remains a dominant force in the self-tanning market and is poised to expand its global presence under its new ownership.

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