British speciality chemicals maker Croda is to acquire South Korean actives producer Solus Biotech for 350 billion won ($277m).
Solus, which employs 95 people at its R&D centre in Bundag near Seoul and its production centre in Iksan, is a leading supplier of naturally derived powder ceramides.
The number of new personal care products containing ceramides has doubled over the last five years, principally for skin care but increasingly for hair care formulations.
Croda said the acquisition provides access to Solus’ existing biotech-derived ceramide and phospholipid technologies, as well as its emerging capabilities in natural retinol.
Solus is developing biotech-derived retinol, which is a sustainable alternative to synthetically derived retinol.
“This acquisition will significantly strengthen Croda’s Beauty Actives portfolio and increases its exposure to targeted prestige segments. Located in South Korea, Solus expands Croda’s Asian manufacturing capability and will create a new biotechnology R&D hub in the region,” it said in a statement.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.
“This is a strategic bullseye for Croda, consolidating our position as a global leader in supplying sustainable, natural actives for personal care across three critical technology platforms of peptides, ceramides and retinol,” said Croda CEO Steve Foots.
“It significantly enhances our sustainable biotechnology capabilities and adds a North Asia manufacturing and innovation facility, providing a springboard to premium markets in Asia and beyond. I am especially excited about their brilliant technology, with Solus bringing rich IP and proprietary know-how that we will be able to deliver to customers globally,” he added.