L’Occitane, the France-based international beauty and skincare retailer, has been on an acquisition roll since its US$708 million IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2010 in a bid to diversify from its traditional gifting image.

In 2012, the multinational bought French-Korean skincare brand Erborian. Five years later, it took a 40 percent stake in LimeLight by Alcone, the US natural cosmetics brand, upping the ante to 60.48 per cent a few months later.

2019 saw the biggest buyout in L’Occitane’s history – the US$900 million acquisition of UK prestige skincare brand Elemis. Last November, the company acquired an 83 per cent interest in Sol de Janeiro, the Brazilian-inspired US digital native brand famed for its cult Bum Bum Cream.

The company’s expansion has seen a few hiccups over the past few years, but L’Occitane reached net global sales of 1.53 billion euros (AUD$2.229 billion) in 2021. Its products are sold in 90 countries, including Australia, through 3088 locations – 1523 directly operated by L’Occitane.

All of the acquisitions have covered strategic areas – Asia-oriented, natural makeup, professional salon and clinic and e-commerce expertise.

L’Occitane has now entered the clean beauty arena by taking a majority stake in Australian natural skincare brand Grown Alchemist. According to analysts, the price tag was in excess of $50 million.

Grown Alchemist was founded in 2008 by Melbourne-based brothers, Jeremy and Keston Muijs. The brand’s high-performance, botanically-based products have carved out a worldwide following in 30 countries, notably among Gen Zers and Millennials.

Available mainly online through its own dedicated website, Adore Beauty, Nourished Life, The Iconic and Flora & Fauna, Grown Alchemist is also stocked at select David Jones stores and its own global flagship store in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton, which opened in late 2020.

Best-selling SKUs include Hydra-Repair Cream, Polishing Facial Exfoliant, Instant Smoothing Serum and Antioxidant+ Facial Oil.

Further expansion is a major goal following the L’Occitane investment. “We are thrilled to support and nurture this ground-breaking, natural cosmeceutical brand, which encapsulates the entrepreneurial spirit of our group”, said Andre Hoffman, vice-chairman and CEO of L’Occitane.

“With a unique and inspiring brand story and international fan base, Grown Alchemist is poised for international scalability and rapid growth.”

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