Saturday, October 16, 2021

Lotus Herbals buys out cosmetics company SoulTree

Premium cosmetics maker Lotus Herbals has acquired organic skin-care and make-up company Vedicare Ayurveda, owner of the SoulTree brand, for an undisclosed amount.

This is the first acquisition for Lotus Herbals, which makes a range of skin-care, sun protection and make-up products.

Lotus Herbals joint Managing Director, Nitin Passi confirmed the development but declined to divulge the size of the deal.

“With the acquisition of SoulTree, we have forayed into the premium ayurvedic wellness space with a brand that resonates with modern consumers and has international organic certifications,” he said.

Information posted on the company’s website said SoulTree is the world’s first certified organic ayurvedic wellness and beauty brand, and that it supports women village farmers in Uttarakhand by sourcing organic herbs for its ayurvedic products. The over one-decade-old homegrown SoulTree, which sells organic make-up and skin-care products, has an offline presence in over hundred outlets in India and international markets including Europe, Japan and South East Asia, it said. SoulTree claims to be the only brand in India to be certified annually by European Certification Agency BDIH of Germany.

Lotus Herbals, which has been actively wooed by both domestic and multinational personal care companies in the past including L’Oreal and Dabur, had begun a formal process of scouting for mid-sized acquisitions mid last year. The New Delhi-based company was also considering offloading a minority stake in the company or roping in a private equity investor to fund the acquisition.

Passi said the strategic buy-out will give Lotus captive footprint in the rapidly growing ayurveda space. “We will maintain independent brand identities for SoulTree and Lotus,” he said.

Lotus competes aggressively with Procter & Gamble’s Olay, L’Oreal and Hindustan Unilever’s Pond’s in the premium skin-care space. It has a share of 27% in the Rs 2,000 crore premium skin-care segment, industry executives said, citing data by researcher Nielsen. Apart from the Lotus franchise, the company sells high-end skincare products under the brand Ikkai.

SoulTree founder, Vishal Bhandari said the acquisition by Lotus Herbals would pave the way for SoulTree to become a leading organic ayurvedic brand in India and globally.

Sales of cosmetics and make-up categories have been severely dented in the first few months of the nationwide lockdown, called by the government in March-end to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. However, with curbs being gradually eased over the past month, industry executives said sales of skin-care and basic make-up products have picked up.

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