Estee Lauder Purchases Minority Stake in Indian Spa Brand

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. announced its purchase of a minority stake in a privately held Indian company that manufactures, markets and sells beauty products under the Forest Essentials brand, which is based on ayurvedic formulations. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Forest Essentials, which was founded in 2000 by Mira Kulkarni, uses pure essential oils and natural plant extracts in its range of skin, body and hair care products. Its portfolio of more than 100 SKUs is sold in the company's seven freestanding stores and in high-end hotels and spas across India.

"Forest Essentials gives us a stronger presence in the rapidly expanding prestige beauty business in India," said William P. Lauder, CEO, The Estée Lauder Companies. "We have seen how more and more consumers around the world are interested in beauty products with a natural heritage. This agreement will help us expand our growing expertise and competitiveness in the natural products arena while Forest Essentials will benefit from our long history of successful brand management and global expansion."

The company's products are rooted in age-old treatments from ancient ayurvedic scriptures, updated with innovative textures and scents. Forest Essential's best-selling products include the Rose Crystal Salt Body Polisher, the Hand Pounded Organic Fruit Scrub and the Soundarya Facial Age Defying Serum.

"We are delighted to gain The Estée Lauder Companies' brand-building and marketing expertise, which will help take Forest Essentials to the next level," said Mira Kulkarni, CEO, Forest Essentials. "We look forward to expanding our unique brand, which harnesses an age-old holistic philosophy to create a new beauty ideal."

The Estée Lauder Companies began selling its products in India in July 2005 with the opening of a freestanding MAC store in Mumbai, in the heart of Bollywood. Currently it sells six brands in India—including MAC, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Aramis, Clinique and most recently Estée Lauder.


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