L’Oreal makes US$843 million bid for Chinese skincare brand


HONG KONG — French cosmetics giant L’Oreal is making an US$843 million takeover offer for skincare company Magic Holdings to help it expand in China’s fast-growing beauty market.

Magic Holdings International Ltd. is the “ideal fit” for L’Oreal SA’s existing China business and the deal also gives Magic an “ideal partner” to expand into new markets, the companies said in a joint filing Thursday.

Magic is the market leader in the rapidly expanding product category of facial masks, with 26 percent market share last year, according to AC Nielsen data.

Emerging markets such as China have become increasingly important for the French cosmetics maker, which is trying to counter stagnant growth in its traditional markets.

Last year the Paris-based company made more money from “new markets,” which include Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe, than from North America or Western Europe.

China’s economic growth has slowed from double-digit rates but remains much higher than developed economies.