09 September 2021

China Beauty - How Building a China Business Can Sweeten a Private Equity Exit

In 2021, China finally ended mandatory animal testing for most types of cosmetics products. 

However, it is not only rabbits that have reason to rejoice. 

The beauty industry is BIG. Estimated to be globally $483 billion in 2020 and despite COVID, lockdowns etc. it actually grew to an estimated $511 billion in 2021. China is a big part of this growth story.

The beauty industry has a varied ecosystem – dominated by giants like L’Oreal and Procter & Gamble but also having a vibrant range of medium and small businesses which constantly rise and fall – but also inject innovation and dynamism.

Increasingly, private equity and funds invest in high potential beauty brands with the view of a trade sale to a giant, a listing or a secondary buyout. These hip and young brands intrinsically capture society’s Zeitgeist – as a result they are invariably cruelty free. And this is a problem for their private equity investors – how can an exit be optimized if the largest growth market in the world is off limits?

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