Amorepacific to capitalise on COSRX’s strong overseas presence as it becomes brand’s largest shareholder

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

COSRX has launched a new exfoliator amid news of Amorepacific's acquisition of the brand. ©COSRX
COSRX has launched a new exfoliator amid news of Amorepacific's acquisition of the brand. ©COSRX

Related tags K-Beauty Amorepacific COSRX Skin care M&A

Amorepacific has strengthened its arsenal of global growth engines by acquiring additional shares in South Korean skin care firm COSRX to leverage the brand’s extensive overseas reach.

Amorepacific acquired a 38.4% stake in COSRX​ in September 2021, and were granted a call option to purchase the remaining 288,000 shares held by the largest shareholder and related parties.

On October 31 this year, the company announced that it will exercise the call option and acquire the additional shares for KRW755.1bn (USD582m).

With this acquisition, Amorepacific will own a 93.2% stake in COSRX, which is set to be integrated as a subsidiary of the cosmetics conglomerate.

Following the equity investment in 2021, the two firms have co-developed and launched products, such as The Vitamin C 23 Serum and The Retinol 0.1 Cream, from COSRX’s next-generation core line The RX.

In light of the positive response from overseas markets for these products, Amorepacific plans to accelerate its global expansion through further diverse collaboration with COSRX.

“We are very happy that COSRX, which has shown rapid growth through differentiated products and marketing based on its exceptional understanding of digital channels, has become a member of our group.

“Going forward, we aim to maximise COSRX’s unique strengths while integrating Amorepacific’s vision and business management know-how to develop it into a captivating brand that global customers will love,” ​said Kim Seung-hwan, CEO of Amorepacific.

Over the past three years, COSRX has achieved an average annual sales growth rate of more than 60%. Notably, overseas sales account for over 90% of total sales.

It recorded sales of KRW204.4bn (USD158m) in 2022, and is continuing strong growth this year, with sales of KRW190.2bn (USD147m).

In the first half of the year alone, the firm reported an operating profit of KRW 71.7 billion (USD55m).

COSRX currently has presence in more than 140 countries, including Japan, South East Asia, Europe, and North America. 

Making waves online

Founded in 2013, COSRX particularly targets sensitive skin, with the Snail and The RX ranges driving its growth across the globe.

After entering Amazon in 2018, the brand has seen its signature product Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence topping the best-seller chart in the beauty and personal care category in the North American market.

In addition, COSRX’s cumulative brand hashtag views on TikTok has exceeded 2.1bn since 2022.

COSRX’s latest product, The AHA BHA PHA LHA 35 Peel, was released on its Amazon store on October 27.

The exfoliator is formulated with a 35% concentration of four different acids — namely AHA to exfoliate and smooth rough and bumpy textures, BHA to unclog and cleanse pores, PHA to alleviate skin barrier damage, and LHA to gently remove dead skin cells.

It claims to revitalise dull complexion, and is suitable for those with oily, sensitive and combination skin that feels tight and dehydrated.

The pink hue comes from vitamin B12, known for its skin-soothing properties and role in fortifying the skin barrier.

According to the brand, clinical trials have demonstrated that the product reduces dead skin cells by 80%, providing immediate smoothing effect and diminishing the appearance of pores in four weeks.

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