Pola Orbis to strengthen business with H2O Plus acquisition

TOKYO — Japanese cosmetics company Pola Orbis Holdings plans to acquire H2O Plus, a privately held developer, manufacturer and marketer of prestige, branded marine-based natural skin care products for the face and body.

Headquartered in Chicago, H2O Plus is majority-owned by investment companies Cordova, Smart & Williams and New MainStream Capital, as well as Robert Seidl and other members of senior management.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in July.

Pola Orbis aims to accelerate its growth in global markets and achieve consolidated sales of $3 billion by 2020, an operating margin that is among the top in the industry (13% to 15%) and an overseas sales percentage of 20%, and to realize its long-term vision of becoming a "highly profitable global enterprise," the company said.

H2O Plus has a global footprint, with more than 2,000 prestige retail points of distribution in 22 countries, including North America, Asia and an expanding presence in Europe and Latin America. According to Pola Orbis, H2O Plus will strengthen its global business base, and Pola Orbis expected synergies through the integration of Pola Orbis' strengths in research and development and marketing while capitalizing on H2O Plus' brand concept and retail distribution channels via local distributors.

"H2O Plus has a sharp brand identity and adds a distinct uniqueness to the Pola Orbis portfolio of seven brands. Pola Orbis targets to increase its presence in global markets in the mid-term management plan, and we believe a partnership with H2O Plus will be mutually beneficial," Pola Orbis president and CEO Satoshi Suzuki said. "Pola Orbis will build a shared relationship with H2O Plus through communication, and we are confident in H2O Plus' further growth through an integration of Pola Orbis' expertise in R&D, marketing and management."

"H2O Plus is delighted about its new alliance with Pola Orbis, which brings a rich history of successful management and strong investment in research and development," Seidl said. "Our new partnership with Pola Orbis will accelerate the growth of the H2O Plus brand in the world's largest and fastest-growing skin care markets."

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