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Luxury Brand 30 Dec 2014

Estee Lauder to increase stake in Indian luxury brand Forest Essentials

Leading international cosmetics brand Estee Lauder, which acquired a 20 per cent stake in Indian beauty brand Forest Essentials, is geared up to increase stake in the later.

New York based leading cosmetics brand, Estee Lauder is set to raise its stake in the Indian beauty brand Forest Essentials that is a pioneer in the Luxury Ayurvedic segment.

Reportedly, Estee Lauder has acquired a 20 per cent stake in Forest Essentials in 2008 for an undisclosed sum of money. Prior to increasing shareholding in the Indian brand, the global brand is getting a due diligence done by leading financial consultancy firm Deloitte.

Confirming the development, Samarth Bedi, Managing Director, Forest Essentials said, “"The promoters of Forest Essentials will continue to be majority stakeholders.” However, he didn’t disclosed the details of how much more stake Estee Lauder plans to take in his company or at what price.

He further added, greater involvement of the foreign player will enable Forest Essentials to expand internationally.
"The plan is to establish presence by opening exclusive stores abroad," Bedi said.

Moreover, the global cosmetics giant is also considering India to manufacture its skin care and other cosmetics products which it sells across the world under labels like Clinique and MAC.

Commenting on the plans to make products for Estee Lauder, Bedi said his company has already acquired land next to its factory near Haridwar in Uttarakhand with an investment of Rs 5 crore to Rs 6 crore, as per the Business Standard report.

"Estee Lauder is keen on making its products in India and we hope to soon start the same," added Bedi.

Presently, Estee Lauder has only one factory in China, outside of the US. The brand entered in Indian market with its high-end product in July 2005, offers a host of brands, including MAC, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Aramis and Clinique.

Whereas, Forest Essentials was founded in 2000 by Mira Kulkarni. The brand makes products from natural ingredients in Uttaranchal. It has been growing at a compounded annual rate of 40 per cent and has 30 exclusive company operated stores at present.

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