Unilever to acquire K18

December 27, 2023

On Friday, December 22, Unilever announced it had entered into an agreement to buy hair care brand K18 for an undisclosed amount, reports Retail Dive. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024.

“We are thrilled to continue to grow our Unilever Prestige portfolio in high growth premium spaces with the addition of K18,” Vasiliki Petrou, Unilever Prestige CEO, said in a statement. “This acquisition complements our fast-growing portfolio of premium, culturally-relevant consumer brands.”

Unilever’s announcement to acquire K18 comes just days after the consumer product goods giant said it will sell its Elida Beauty portfolio. Unilever had carved out Q-tips, Tigi, Caress, Timotei, Impulse, Monsavon, Fissan, Williams, Noxzema, Brylcreem, V05, Lever 2000, Badedas and Matey brands to create that portfolio, later adding Alberto Balsam, Brut, and the North American and Europe business of Pond’s and St. Ives.

Unilever in October also announced plans to sell a majority stake in Dollar Shave Club, after acquiring the direct-to-consumer shaving brand in 2016 for a reported $1 billion.

The acquisition of K18 “marks another step in the optimization of Unilever’s portfolio towards higher growth areas,” the company said in Friday’s announcement.

K18 was founded in 2020 by tech industry veteran Suveen Sahib and beauty veteran Britta Cox. The brand took a scientific approach to developing its products, which focus on targeting hair damage. Among its most popular products is the leave-in molecular hair repair mask.

The brand has expanded its distribution network in recent years, selling through professional salons, retailers and online. K18 in 2021 inked a deal with Sephora to be sold in over 500 of its stores.

“We are elated to join forces with Unilever, who sees the value in our unique biology-first and biotech approach that is more sustainable and efficacious,” Sahib, K18’s CEO, said in a statement.

Research contact: @RetailDive