Fashion brand Handsome jumps into cosmeceutical market
SEOUL, AJU - Handsome, the fashion subsidiary of South Korea's Hyundai department store group, jumped into a cosmeceutical market by acquiring a controlling stake in a domestic functional cosmetics company. The deal underlines Handsome's efforts to diversify its fashion-oriented business structure and secure new growth engines.
Handsome said it has signed a deal to acquire a 51-percent stake worth 10 billion won ($8.2 million) in Cleangen Cosmeceuticals which has know-how in developing functional cosmetics that add medicinal ingredients to cosmetics that are effective in whitening, wrinkles and elasticity.
The fashion company hopes to utilize a distribution channel run by its parent group, Hyundai Department Store, which is one of South Korea's three major department store chains. Starting with skincare products, Handsome plans to expand its product line to color cosmetics and perfumes.
Handsome plans to use the patented technology of "super epidermal growth factor (EGF)" that has improved skin absorption among existing EGF effects. Super EGF ingredients will be supplied by Genexine, a biotech company. EGF discovered by Nobel Prize winner Stanley Cohen is a protein that stimulates cell growth.
South Korea's premium skincare market has seen high growth, but Handsome thinks there is no domestic brand that can represent cosmeceuticals, a combination of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, which refer to cosmetic products with bioactive ingredients purported to have medical benefits. To secure raw materials and specialized technologies, Handsome will seek to collaborate with domestic and overseas companies.